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After recent 'slump,' Tony Finau hoping for another good showing at British Open this week

Tony Finau hits out of the bunker on the 17th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Tony Finau hits out of the bunker on the 17th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif.
David J. Phillip, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — Tony Finau hopes his recent slump, if you want to call it that, is over.

The Salt Lake City native, who lives in Lehi with his wife and four children, recently experienced a rare down time for him when he missed the cut in three straight tournaments, including the U.S. Open. Prior to that he had missed just two cuts in his previous 28 PGA Tour events.

However, after taking a week off after the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, he bounced back with a tie for 23rd at the 3M Open in Minneapolis, where he finished 13-under with all four rounds in the 60s. He skipped last week's John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour.

Now he hopes his game is back in shape as he plays in this week’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.

Finau will play with England’s Justin Rose the first two days as well as Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark. The group tees off midafternoon local time on Thursday (7:48 a.m. MDT) and midmorning on Friday (2:47 a.m. MDT).

“I’m not too concerned,” Finau said, after missing the U.S. Open cut. “What I’ve learned from these events is you’re not as far off as you think.”

Finau says he enjoys playing links courses, which the British Opens are played on, and feels like his length is an advantage on the often wide-open, hard fairways. He’s done well in all three Open Championships he’s played in.

In last year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland, Finau began with a 4-under-par 67 and stayed close to the lead all weekend, eventually posting three straight even-par 71s and finishing in a tie for ninth, four strokes behind winner Francesco Molinari.

In his first Open in 2016 at Royal Troon, he also started with rounds of 67 and 71 and eventually finished in a tie for 18th place at even par. Then in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, he rallied with scores of 67 and 71 in his last two rounds to finish in a tie for 27th place.

OPEN NOTES: Unlike most other events on the PGA Tour, which put players off both nines in morning and afternoon shifts, the Open puts all players off No. 1 starting at 6:35 a.m. local time until 4:16 p.m. Two-time Utah Open champion Nate Lashley will be playing in his first British Open this year, teeing off at 3:53 a.m. MDT . . . Former champion John Daly withdrew from the tourney because he was not allowed to use a cart as he had in the PGA Championship earlier this year.