Tony Finau was surprised by the impact COVID-19 had on his health following his diagnosis two weeks ago at the Shriners Hospitals Open in Las Vegas.
"It got me really good," Finau said, according to Golfweek's Steve DiMeglio. "It was not the experience I thought I was going to have."
At 31 years old and in peak physical condition, Finau isn't the type of person you'd expect to have a tough time with COVID-19. But his experience fighting the illness changed his opinion on the virus.
"I could see that you could definitely die from it," he continued. "Not that I ever felt I was going to die. But it can take your immune system to a place where I could totally see you being hospitalized from it and it affecting your life.
"So I think in a way, I just gained respect for the actual virus. Not that I didn’t take it seriously, not that I wasn't social distancing or anything like that, but just that I understand some of the measures that our country has taken in certain states. Whether you agree with it or not, it's probably the right thing to do."
Finau, who is feeling much better now and posted 69-64 to head into the weekend at the Zozo Championship in a tie for seventh, said he felt ill on Oct. 3 but figured it was just the flu. He then drove from Salt Lake City to Vegas and tested positive two days later.
"For the first five days, it got worse. I had massive headaches, body aches, and I didn’t feel like doing anything. It got me really good, fatigue wise, it knocked me down, no question about it," Finau recalled.
His sense of taste and smell, which he lost about four days into his self-isolation period, still haven't returned.
"It was worse than the flu, and it lasted way longer."