AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tony Finau didn’t plan it this way, but he just happened to tee off for his Tuesday practice round at about the exact same time he’ll tee off Thursday in his first official Masters round.
The Salt Lake City native, playing in his first-ever Masters, had planned to tee off around noon with Yuxin Lin, a 17-year-old left-hander from China, who is coached by Finau’s golf coach, Boyd Summerhays. But by the time they teed off, it was 12:45 local time, just two minutes after what will be his Thursday tee time, which was only announced a couple of hours earlier.
Finau and Lin played a casual round that included extra putts on each green like most players as well as extra drives and shots around the green. Players sometimes hook up on the spot, as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson did after seeing each other Monday.
“Phil and I talked about it and decided to play today,” said Woods. “We enjoyed it.”
The pairings for Thursday’s first round weren’t announced until Tuesday morning. Finau’s group for the 10:43 a.m. MDT tee time will include 1993 champion Bernhard Langer and Yuta Ikeda, a 32-year-old, 19-time winner on the Japan Tour. The long-hitting Finau likes how the Masters course fits his game with its wide fairways and smooth greens.
Former BYU golfer Mike Weir, who is celebrating the 15th anniversary of his Masters win in 2003, will tee off in the third group of the day at 6:52 a.m. with Brendan Steele and Matt Parziale. The 47-year-old Sandy resident played a practice round with fellow Canadians Adam Hadwin and Ted Potter Jr. Tuesday and made a beeline for the practice range afterward to work further on his game.
Weir has struggled for several years with injuries, but says he’s as healthy as he’s been for a while, and recently made his first cut since 2014 when he finished in a tie for 73rd at the Corales Puntacana tournament in the Dominican Republic last month.
MASTERS NOTES: The weather for Tuesday’s practice round may have been the best of the week with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s. The temperature is supposed to cool into the high 60s with thunderstorms forecast for Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Victoria Romney, the 12-year-old from Draper, who competed Sunday in the Drive, Chip and Putt competition at Augusta, finished in seventh place in her age division. Among the top pairings for Thursday are Woods, Marc Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood at 8:42 a.m. MDT, defending champion Sergio Garcia, Justin Thomas and Doc Redman at 8:53 a.m., Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson and Jason Day at 9:04 a.m., Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Mickelson at 11:27 a.m., Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm at 11:38 a.m. and Jordan Spieth, Alex Noren and Louis Oosthuizen at 11:49 a.m.