SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Tony Finau has concluded his opening round at the 2021 Masters with a two-over-par, 74. He enters Friday in a tie for 32nd.
It was a hot and cold opening 18 holes for Finau. He was constantly battling to find his rhythm as he walked around Augusta National. Every birdie made by Finau on Thursday was immediately followed by a bogey or worse shortly thereafter.
Birdie, Bogey, Par
A birdie on the par 5 2nd hole was the perfect start for the Salt Lake City native. But a double-bogey immediately followed on hole three. Another bogey on four had Finau trending in the wrong direction.
Fortunately, a birdie on the seventh hole had Finau making the turn with momentum.
The back nine is where Finau can earn his dollars, with two very scoreable par 5’s that are easily reachable for the big hitter.
However, Finau was not able to take advantage.
He bogeyed the 10th hole and found himself at two-over-par as he approached Amen Corner. He made a great up and down at the dangerous par 3 12th hole and walked towards the par 5 13th. He drove his tee shot into the right rough, left himself with a long iron into the green, and made a terrific lag putt to tap in for birdie.
But two holes later he surrendered another shot with a bogey on the par 5 15th after finding the water short of the green with his second shot.
Fast Greens On Thursday
Finau then hit a terrific tee shot five feet short of the hole on the par 3 16th and knocked it home for birdie.
An errant tee shot on 17 put Finau in a dangerous position. He knocked it out in front of the green, but behind a bunker. He tentatively missed his six-foot look for par and made bogey.
Then, on 18 he hit a perfect drive down the right side of the fairway. His second shot trickled towards the back of the green and past the hole. He was facing a 20-foot birdie putt to bring him back to one-over-par.
Finau missed two cups right of the hole and tapped in for par.
Interestingly, Finau opted for a new putting technique. Instead of staring at his ball when standing over the putt, Finau was seen staring at the hole instead. His eyes were not placed on the ball, rather on the cup.
Finau is scheduled to tee off tomorrow at 8:42 a.m. alongside Justin Thomas and Louis Oosthuizen.
Mike Weir & Fast Greens
Former BYU golfer and 2003 Masters Champion Mike Weir ended his first round at six-over-par. He made two clutch par’s on the final two holes to hopefully give him enough momentum going into Friday. He will need to go low to give himself a chance at making the cut.
The greens were firm and incredibly fast. Much drier than they traditionally are at Augusta on Thursday. The field struggled to hold the greens and was frequently left with long lag putts.
That is, everyone but Justin Rose, who enters Thursday with a four-shot lead despite being two-over-par through seven holes. He went nine-under through his final 11 holes.