Tony Finau describes the moment he sprained his ankle at the Par 3 Contest at the Masters as embarrassing. Which, for an athlete of his caliber, is understandable. Falling over while running backwards after making a hole in one probably isn’t the scene you want to leave imprinted in fans’ minds. But I don’t think the people watching were thinking ‘Oh, he just embarrassed himself.’ No. They were thinking ‘Wow I think he just broke his ankle.’
What looked like a total dislocation and snapped bones turned out to be a sprain. Which was great news for Finau, because it meant he got to play in his first Masters. After rounds of 68-74-73-66, Finau finished in a tie for 10th place. All the while, he smiled and joked through press conferences, saying things about his ankle like, “My foot started to feel better the more I played,” and “It feels a lot better than it did yesterday.”
He was nonchalant, brushing off the fact that his ankle was bound so tight in tape that he had a very limited amount of mobility. But he was consistently saying that he was alright, so we all had no choice but to believe him.
But what we didn’t realize is that when Tony Finau says his ankle is ok, it means something completely different than when any other person on the planet says their ankle is OK. Because this gnarly, swollen, bruised situation is most certainly not OK.
By ‘my ankle feels better’ Finau must have meant that his foot was still attached to his body. The few players above him on the leaderboard are probably thanking their lucky stars that they only had to take on a one-ankled Finau at Augusta this year.