Tony Finau is one of the more respected and revered players on the PGA Tour. Since joining the tour in 2015, he has built a solid resume.
Finau has won six times, including twice this year at the Cadence Bank Houston Open and the Mexico Open at Vidanta. He has earned just over $50 million playing golf, according to SpoTrac.
But over 40 percent of those career earnings are in jeopardy now.
Former business associate and family friend Molonai Hola previously filed a lawsuit in 2020 against Finau, his brother, Gipper, and his father, Gary. That lawsuit is now slated for trial.
Hola allegedly invested heavily in Finau early in his career, between 2006 and 2009.
Separately, local Utah businessman David Hunter also is suing the Finau family. His initial suit was dismissed in 2021. However, it has been partially reinstated by the Utah Court of Appeals. Oral arguments were heard on the case this week.
“People ask why we think we’re entitled to his earnings. We ask back, ‘Who risks $500,000 on a 17-year-old kid who hadn’t done a thing yet in pro golf? We deserve to be compensated for that,” Hunter told the Deseret News.
“This thing is far from over,” Hunter said. “It is a wild and crazy story, but it deserves to be told.”
Essentially, both Hola and Hunter are separately suing the Finau family for repayment of loans and other services provided during the aforementioned time period. Those loans amounted to $1.1 million.
Additionally, both Hola and Hunter are asking for approximately 20 percent of his career winnings, just over $10 million each.
Finau’s representatives opted not to address specific allegations, nor did they make Tony available for comment.
Finau is beloved among fans for many reasons, including his charitable work. He established the Tony Finau Foundation Learning Center back in Utah. He has also better hundreds of lives through initiatives like “Birdies for Books” and “Tony’s Turkeys.”
The Salt Lake City, Utah native is currently ranked 20th in the Official World Golf Rankings. He also finished 20th in this year’s race for the FedEx Cup. That prompted discussions of him joining Team USA on the Ryder Cup.
Ultimately, captain Zach Johnson did not pick the 33-year-old Utah native for Rome. Instead, he controversially chose Justin Thomas, a two-time major winner who has struggled mightily this year.
Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor/Editorial Manager of SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow our content further at @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms.