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Tony Finau fires 6 under par at Masters, is just 3 shots behind leader entering 3rd round

Fellow Utahn Mike Weir shoots a 1 under par on Friday, but the 50-year-old making his 22nd Masters appearance misses the cut by two shots

SHARE Tony Finau fires 6 under par at Masters, is just 3 shots behind leader entering 3rd round

Tony Finau reacts after missing an eagle putt on the 15th hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament on Friday, April 9, 2021, in Augusta, Ga.

David J. Phillip, Associated Press

Utah’s Tony Finau is at it again.

The Salt Lake City native has played himself into contention at another one of golf’s major championships, firing a 6-under-par 66 Friday at the Masters to move into a tie for sixth place at 4 under halfway through the tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

Justin Rose of England remained in the lead after shooting an even-par 72 Friday to go with the 65 he shot Thursday and leads Will Zalatoris, Brian Harman and Marc Leishman by a shot.

Finau, 31, tied his second-lowest round ever at Augusta National in 14 career rounds. He is three shots behind Rose and in a tie with two of the pre-tournament favorites, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Finau and Thomas played the first two rounds together.

Finau’s 66 tied for the low round of the day with Bernd Wiesberger of Austria.

Sandy resident Mike Weir, the 2003 Masters champion, recovered from Thursday’s 78 with a 1-under-par 71 on Friday, but missed making the cut by two strokes, even while closing with a birdie on the difficult par-4 18th. Weir made four birdies to offset three bogeys and hurt his chances of playing on the weekend with back-to-back bogeys on holes 9 and 10.

Finau will not only play on the weekend, but he will look to contend again for the green jacket in his fourth appearance at the Masters. His two highest finishes came in 2018 (tie for 10th) and in 2019 (T5).

In 2019, Finau shot a 64 in the third round of the Masters. Another effort like that in Saturday’s third round will almost certainly put him among the final groups on Sunday.

Finau was on track for a 65 or better and had played his way into a tie for second at one point, but he bogeyed the 18th hole to drop down the leaderboard a bit.

The West High graduate made an eagle on the second hole, hitting an approach shot within 8 feet of the cup and making a curling, knee-knocking putt. 

He birdied holes 6, 8, 9 and 10 to get to 6 under, but made a bogey on the par-3 12th. Birdies on 14 and 15 (he barely missed an eagle putt) set him up for a historic round, but on 18 he drove into a fairway bunker.

His third shot was a mere 5 feet from the hole, but he left the par putt short and left.