PGA Tour and Ryder Cup star Tony Finau sued for more than £12.5MILLION by businessman who 'bankrolled early career'

PGA TOUR and Ryder Cup star Tony Finau is being sued for more than £12.5million by a businessman who claims he funded the early part of his career.

Molonai Hola, 55, of Utah, US, alleges he paid Finau and his family's expenses for several years but never got the money back as promised.

Finau, 31, ranked 14th in the world with one PGA Tour win, has won more than £15.5m on the lucrative US circuit and has a sponsorship deal with Nike.

The lawsuit claims Hola, who became friendly with the Finau family in 1997, funded Tony – who played in the 2018 Ryder Cup – and his brother Gipper's expenses as they sought a future in the game.

Both had promising junior careers and turned pro in 2007 while still teenagers.

The Finaus relocated to Florida so Tony – who earlier this year claimed he had been a victim of police brutality – and Gipper could have lessons from famed instructor David Leadbetter.

The suit claims Hola paid for the family's mortgage payments, medical insurace, new car and Tony and Gipper's golf-related travel expenses.

It is alleged the expenses totalled just over £460,000.

Hola is claiming for that amount plus interest and for "compensatory damages of at least £12.5m plus interest", say Deseret News.

It is alleged that massive figure amounts to roughly 20 per cent of the two golfers' careers earnings to date.

My first @themasters was unforgettable. 2 years ago I was competing in the famous par 3 contest and things went from0 to 💯 real quick 😳😂 Easily one of the craziest mix of emotions I've ever experienced. Looking back on it now. I wouldn't change it for the world. It was super gross to watch and embarrassing at first but i learned some great lessons throughout that week that I would've never learned without that experience. Perseverance and belief in my abilities being at the top. Enjoy the pics of my first Masters par 3 contest with my family!Also for Masters Finau overload this week, start following @finaufresh 🔥

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8 years 🤎 •cooked one of our fav meals together (steak+rice) ate, played "how well do you know each other" trivia. Shared our fav things we love about each other. Reminisced about our crazy love story. Roasted each other a little & laughed the night away. Love our life we've built together. My better half! Happy Anniversary! I love you ❤️ @tonyfinaugolf#babystepsintoeternity

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Gala 😉💋🇺🇸 . . #presidentscup2019

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Gala 😉💋🇺🇸 . . #presidentscup2019

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Hola claims he was promised 20 per cent of the Finaus' future professional earnings.

Married dad-of-four Tony, who is of Tongan and Samoan descent and whose first sport was fire-knife dancing, recently bagged just over £235,000 for finishing tied-eighth in the US Open.

Last season he pocketed just shy of £2.3m despite coronavirus cutting short the season.

Gipper never made it on to the PGA Tour and his earnings are nowhere near the level of his brother's.

Finau's agent Christopher Armstrong said: "We are aware of the matter and have the utmost faith in the legal process.

"We will not be making further comment at this time."

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