Tony Finau Pays Homage To Kobe Bryant With Shoe Choice At Waste Management Open
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah’s favorite golfer, Tony Finau, showed up on day one of the Waste Management Open in Phoenix, Arizona wearing a pair of purple and gold shoes. Despite being born and raised just outside of Salt Lake City in Rose Park, Finau grew up a Lakers fan, because of Kobe. The below photo is of the shoes that Finau is wearing on the first day of the Waste Management Open. The numbers “8.24” are in honor of Bryant, who wore both numbers during his 20-year career with the Lakers. Finau first wore the shoes in 2016 at the Tour Championship.
Kobe tributes keep coming at @WMPhoenixOpen: Tony Finau is wearing custom Mamba Day shoes that @nomadcustoms designed for him in 2016. He'll also wear a Kobe jersey on 16 today pic.twitter.com/ErSmiQpvZT
— Brian Wacker (@brianwacker1) January 30, 2020
On the day of Bryant’s death, Finau was playing in the Farmers Insurance Open, following the round he spoke with reporters.
“I’m a huge Kobe fan and a Laker fan single-handedly because of Kobe Bryant,” Finau said. “To have that happen to one of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball and one of the greatest athletes in sports is so tragic. I’ll be mourning with the NBA and just anyone who knew him or was impacted by him. I definitely was, and very sad, sad day for sports and just people in general…”
To further prove that Finau looked up to and admired Kobe Bryant, the video below was posted on Finau’s personal Instagram page on August 24, 2017.
Finau is also expected to wear a Bryant jersey on hole 16 of the Waste Management Open. The 16th hole has for years been known as the rowdiest and exciting hole on the PGA circuit. Fans surround the Par 3. 16th shouting and cheering each professional golfer that makes their way onto the daunting tee box.
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My heart is heavy and saddened by this tragic news. Hard to find words. I offer my deepest condolences and prayers to those closest to him. The joy and inspiration I received throughout my life watching you and admiring your will to win, are memories I cherish. I'm a Lakers Fan because of you. Thank you for showing the world what the Mamba mentality is all about. You are sorely missed Mamba 💯❤️ this one hurts. RIP Legend 🙏🏾
“My heart is heavy and saddened by this tragic news. Hard to find words. I offer my deepest condolences and prayers to those closest to him.
The joy and inspiration I received throughout my life watching you and admiring your will to win, are memories I cherish. I’m a Lakers Fan because of you. Thank you for showing the world what the Mamba mentality is all about. You are sorely missed Mamba 💯❤️ this one hurts. RIP Legend 🙏🏾.” Finau wrote on his Instagram page following the news of Bryant’s death.
Other PGA Professionals Honoring Bryant
Finau is among many other professional golfers that are honoring Bryant at the Waste Management Open.
— Stephen Hicks (@StephenABC30) January 30, 2020
Bryson Dechambeau puts the number 24 on the back of his cap and number 8 on the back of his left shoe.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 30, 2020
Justin Thomas put Bryant’s high school jersey on for the 16th hole during day 1 of the Waste Management Open.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 28, 2020
Justin Thomas also stamped his wedges with iconic Kobe Bryant words in remembrance of the late Bryant.