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Double-bogey on 18th hole spoils stellar opening round for Utah’s Tony Finau at British Open

Former West High golfer was in the top 20 on Thursday, but disaster struck on the 18th hole, dropping him into a tie for 49th after the first round

SHARE Double-bogey on 18th hole spoils stellar opening round for Utah’s Tony Finau at British Open
Kevin Kisner plays out of a bunker on the sixth green during the first round of the British Open in Sandwich, England.

United States’ Kevin Kisner plays out of a bunker on the sixth green during the first round of the British Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England, on Thursday, July 15, 2021. Fellow American and Utah native Tony Finau carded an even-par 70 on the opening day of play.

Ian Walton, Associated Press

For 17 holes on Thursday at the British Open, Utah’s Tony Finau appeared to have rediscovered his golf game.

Then No. 18 happened.

Having made three birdies and just one bogey through 17 at Royal St. George’s Golf Club, the West High graduate made a double-bogey on the par-4 18th to tumble down the leaderboard. 

Finau finished at even-par 70 and is in a tie for 49th place.

Louis Oosthuizen, of South Africa, led after the first round, shooting a 6-under 64. Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman, of the United States, shot 5-under and were tied for second.

Finau, 31, moved his family to Scottsdale, Arizona, at the beginning of 2020, but still has a home in Lehi and spends most of his summers there when he’s not on tour.

He’s in decent position to make the 36-hole cut, after failing to do so in the last two tournaments he entered — including June’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines near San Diego.

That was just the second time in his last 16 majors that Finau failed to make a cut.

Thursday, teeing off before 6 a.m. MDT, Finau birdied the par-3 third hole and was 1-under at the turn. After a bogey on No. 12, he birdied holes 13 and 14 to get into the top 20, but struggled on No. 18 to drop back into the pack.

Finau will tee off at 12:52 a.m. MDT Friday morning in the second round.