SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Tony Finau has left himself a challenge entering the final round at The Masters. It was moving day at Augusta National, and Finau moved in the wrong direction, he will enter Sunday’s round eight shots behind current leader Hideki Matsuyama.
Finau had a very uneventful round on Saturday, he made bogey on the 1st, birdied three after leaving himself just 27 yards to the pin after a beautiful drive, and bogeyed the hardest hole on the golf course; the par 4 5th.
A rain delay suspended play for just over an hour. When the golfers returned the scoring conditions improved as the rain softened the previously firm greens. During that break, Finau received a facetime from Tom Brady, according to Jim Nantz.
He made the turn at one-over-par and plus three overall.
The back nine has always been where Finau can make his money at Augusta. It has a number of holes that suit Finau’s game, yet, this week Finau is yet to take advantage of the back nine and today was another letdown.
He made par on every hole up until the par 5 15th when he made birdie to bring himself back to even on the day. But, shortly thereafter, on the par 4 17th hole he made bogey after spraying his tee shot well to the right.
He should have made a birdie on 18, a hole that has given him trouble through the first two rounds, but he left his birdie attempt short. A frustrating day for Finau. His putter let him down all day, unlike on Friday when his putter kept him in contention.
Finau’s chances to secure his first Green Jacket and major are slim. The previous five Masters Champions have been within five shots of the lead entering Sunday.
Despite Finau’s issues on Saturday, he still enters the final round in a tie for 9th. His odds of winning a Green Jacket may be slim, but he can fight for his third top 10 finish at Augusta National in four starts. A very respectable and impressive feat.
Hideki Matsuyama has never won a major. He is the first Japanese player to lead a Major tournament entering the final round and hopes to become the first Japanese player to win a major on the PGA Tour. He leads the field by four shots entering Sunday.