Former Utah resident Tony Finau has some work to do if he hopes to finish in the top 10 of another major golf tournament, let alone win his first.
Finau, playing in the 20th major of his career, shot a 2-over-par 74 in the first round of the PGA Championship on Thursday at Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course in South Carolina. Finau is tied for 62nd heading into Friday’s second round. He will tee off at 5:38 a.m. MDT Friday morning in a group that includes first-round leader Corey Conners (-5) and Richy Werenski (-1).
The other native Utahn playing in the major tournament, club pro Joe Summerhays, shot an 81 and is tied for 147th place. Summerhays qualified by posting a top-20 finish in the PGA Professional Championship in Florida last month and is one of 20 teaching pros in the field.
The director of golf instruction at Eagle Lake GC in Roy who also teaches out of Oakridge Country Club, will need a miracle round to make the cut and follow in the footsteps of his father, Bruce, who made the cut 40 years ago in this tournament that lets club pros play with touring pros.
Summerhays, 49, tees off at 5:11 a.m. MDT Friday morning.
Finau was seemingly headed toward a big number, too, after making a bogey on hole No. 3 and a double-bogey on hole No. 4. But he righted himself and played the next seven holes 2 under to get back to even.
Bogeys on 12 and 16 moved him back to 2 over. He saved par from a bunker on 17 to avoid a third bogey on the back nine.
On 16, Finau’s tee shot found the native area and he had to take a penalty stroke. Still, he kept the hole from becoming a train wreck with some solid shots coming in.
Finau has finished in the top 10 in eight of his last 12 majors, including a fourth-place finish at last year’s PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco. At his last major, the Masters in April, he tied for 10th.
Former LSU star Sam Burns, one of the hottest golfers entering the tournament, withdrew after nine holes due to a back injury. Defending champion Collin Morikawa shot a 2-under 70 and is tied for eighth in a group that includes Phil Mickelson and 2019 U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland.