Utah golfer Tony Finau sued for $16 million by former business associate

Tony Finau hits from a bunker on the 13th hole during the third round for the Masters golf tournament Saturday, April 13, 2019, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Tony Finau is being sued for $16 million by his former business associate, according to a lawsuit filed in the Third District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah last week.

Molonai Hola, the 55-year-old owner of Icon Sports, says he became acquainted with the Finau family around 1997, and claims he arranged with the family to pay expenses for Tony and his brother Gipper for several years. The understanding was, according to the lawsuit, that Hola would eventually be compensated.

Some of those expenses included paying for the family's mortgage payments, insurance, travel, and golf lessons, as well as form the Finau Corporation to promote the Finau brothers.

The lawsuit states the expenses added up to a total of $592,371.37.

Finau reportedly acknowledged in a text message and telephone calls that Hola was "owed money and even agreed to make payments to Hola." The money, however, was not transferred as promised, according to the lawsuit.

Hola is asking for that money and compensatory damages of "at least $16 million, plus interest." The lawsuit claims that figure represents approximately 20% of the two golfers' career earnings to date.

Gipper Finau, his father Gary, agent Chris Armstrong and the Wasserman Media Group are also named in the lawsuit.

Finau is ranked 14th in the world and finished T-8 at the U.S. Open this month.

2News has reached out to Finau and Armstrong for comment.