Finau's unusual path leads him to Hawaii and in contention at th - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Finau's unusual path leads him to Hawaii and in contention at the Sony Open

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

For a lot of professional golfers, it was country clubs growing up which led to collegiate golf and now life on the PGA Tour.  Tony Finau's path here, however, was far from conventional.

"It's pretty crazy really.  Just my whole story, to sum it all up, is probably the best word," said Finau.

A native of Salt Lake City Utah, Finau had several offers to play collegiate basketball, but he turned down a career on the hardwood for one on the links, pursuing various mini tours out of high school, even making an appearance on Golf Channel's the Big Break. 

"A lot of people probably doubted where I'd be and where I'd end up, but I always believed that I could be here and I proved that to myself playing on the highest level last year.  I just hope to continue to build on that every year that I'm out here."

That brings Finau here to Hawaii where he opens his 2nd year on the PGA Tour, one where he's the torch bearer for the Polynesian golfers of tomorrow.

"It is really cool to be the first of Tongan and Samoan descent on the PGA Tour.  Hopefully the first of many more to come."

He'll be around for the weekend after making the cut at Waialae for the first time following an opening round 65 and today's one-under 69 which has Finau in striking distance, and ready to unleash his new-found confidence this season.

"I really do feel like the next step for me is to win out on tour. That's my goal every week I play, so hopefully on Sunday I'm in contention and have an opportunity to win."

Finau is tied for 25th at six-under par.  He tees off with Webb Simpson and Ricky Barnes at 11:25 am during Saturday's round three.

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