AUGUSTA, Ga. — If it’s not one thing, it’s another for Tony Finau.
After struggling with an ankle injury during the first two rounds of the Masters, Finau hurt his left knee early in Saturday’s round, and the injury resulted in a few bogeys before he righted his game and recovered for a solid round.
The Salt Lake native shot a 1-over-par 73 and stands in a tie for 15th place at 1-under-par 215 heading into Sunday’s final round. Finau will tee off at 11 a.m. MT Sunday with Charley Hoffman.
Directly after finishing his round, Finau was headed to therapy and officially not available to the press, but he took a couple of minutes to talk to two Utah reporters.
Finau, who was wearing high-top golf shoes Saturday to protect his injured left ankle, said he hurt his left knee on the third hole, perhaps over-compensating for his injured left ankle.
“It started hurting at the third hole,” Finau said. “I couldn’t turn and started hitting it left. But I battled and I hit it great on the back nine. I’m happy with the way I finished.”
Finau got off to a good start with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 No. 2 hole, but got on the bogey train starting with a bogey at the par-3 4th hole when his tee shot hit the front bunker. A poor drive to the trees on the left cost him a bogey at No. 5, and he found bunkers again at 6 and 7 to make it four bogeys in a row.
At 3-over for the day and his round heading south in a hurry, Finau settled down and didn’t make another bogey the rest of the day.
He made birdie at the par-3 No. 12 hole he when he hit it within 10 feet. He added another at 13 with a two-putt birdie and parred in from there. He was especially happy with his par at No. 18 when he hit in the trees on the right side and got up and down from the left side of the green.
“To get a par there after hitting it in the trees was big,” he said.
Finau has become known by the gallery as the guy who hurt himself on Wednesday when he temporarily dislocated left ankle, celebrating a hole-in-one in the Par-3 Contest.
The video of him rolling his ankle, as he backpedaled following his ace and then popping it back in, went viral. Finau was embarrassed by the whole episode but said, “It’s something that I can just laugh at later in life, no question.”
While Finau is out of contention for a green jacket, 13 shots behind leader Patrick Reed, he will try to move up the standing as much as possible Sunday afternoon. If he finishes among the top 12 and ties, he will earn a trip back to the 2019 Masters.