Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama cruises to historic Masters win; Utah’s Tony Finau records third top-10 finish in fourth appearance
Former Salt Lake City resident Tony Finau fires an even-par 72 in Sunday’s final round, has been in top 10 in eight of last 12 majors
At least one Utahn was part of the 2021 Masters champion’s celebration on Sunday afternoon at Augusta National Golf Club. But it wasn’t the one many believed would be involved in the green jacket ceremony at Butler Cabin.
Former Salt Lake City resident Tony Finau fired an even-par 72 in the final round of his fourth appearance in the Masters, finishing in a tie for 10th place.
Meanwhile, Hideki Matsuyama became the first man from Japan to win a major golf tournament, posting a total of 10-under par to defeat Will Zalatoris by one shot and Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele by three. Zalatoris placed fourth at the Utah Championship at Oakridge Country Club in Farmington last summer, one shot out of the playoff.
Utahn Bob Turner, a BYU alumnus, has served as Matsuyama’s interpreter since 2013 and helped the Japanese star with his post-round interviews for the second-consecutive day.
For Finau, it was another successful major, and about what was expected of one of the West High graduate who entered the tournament ranked No. 13 in the World Golf Rankings. It was Finau’s third top-10 finish in the last four Masters and eighth top-10 finish in the last 12 majors.
He entered the day eight shots behind Matsuyama, and was never really in contention to win his first major as he played the front nine in 1-over par. However, his top-10 finish earns him a spot in next year’s Masters.
Bogeys on holes 11 and 12 completely erased any hope of a top-five finish, but they touched off a wild back nine that included just one par on Finau’s final eight holes.
On the last seven holes, Finau recorded three no-putt greens. On another back nine hole, 3-putted.
The one-time winner on the PGA Tour (Puerto Rico Open) moved inside the top 10 with a birdie on the par-3 16th hole, but gave it back with a bogey on 17 and fell back into a tie for 11th.
On 17, Finau hit his first putt from the fringe, but it rolled a good 20 feet past the hole and he eventually made a five.
On 18, his tee shot went into the pine straw right of the fairway, and his approach was short of the green. But he made a 20-plus foot putt from off the green for the birdie, finishing the tournament off right.
Finau was tied for ninth until Canadian Corey Conners birdied the 18th hole to leap over Finau and Cameron Smith.
He made several spectacular shots Sunday, including a shot from underneath the trees on No. 7 that got a fortunate bounce out of a bunker and allowed him to save par. His tee shot on No. 16 was within 6 feet, setting up birdie on that hole.
On No. 14, Finau used the back of the green as a backboard and spun a shot back into the hole for birdie.
The other Utahn in the field of 88, Sandy’s Mike Weir, 50, did not make the cut in his 22nd Masters appearance.