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U.S. Ryder Cup team member Tony Finau nearly missed playing at Whistling Straits due to illness

It turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup captain nearly had to make a call to the bullpen for a reserve play ahead of Team USA’s resounding 19-9 victory over Europe.

Tony Finau, one of Stricker’s six captain’s picks, came down with pneumonia the week before the biennial competition and feared he might have COVID-19. Finau participated in a charity fundraiser hosted by Tiger Woods at Liberty National in New Jersey on the Monday prior to Ryder Cup week and developed a cough.

“I started to kind of feel a little crummy,” said Finau on his podcast, “Let’s Get It.” He previously tested positive for COVID a year ago. “When we start to come down with something these days, what’s the first thing you think about? COVID. It’s like 100 percent. I had it exactly a year ago. So, a lot of these thoughts started to go through my head, like, oh my gosh, I was like, please, not COVID, not now.”

Finau knew that to compete in the Ryder Cup he had to have a negative test three days prior and be tested again on site. This was just five days before he had to get on a plane to go to the Ryder Cup. Finau flew home from Newark to Salt Lake City, a five-hour flight that he described as…

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