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PGA Championship: Adventurous 3rd round leaves Utah’s Tony Finau far from the top of the leaderboard

Former Salt Lake City resident made three long birdie putts Saturday, but shot a 4-over 74 thanks to a double-bogey and other miscues

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Tony Finau is riding high after last week’s PGA Tour win at the Northern Trust.

Julio Cortez, Associated Press

Utah’s Tony Finau put together a couple of rather boring rounds to make the cut at the 2022 PGA Championship.

The same cannot be said of Finau’s adventurous third round Saturday, which included four birdies, six bogeys and a double bogey in difficult conditions at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

The final result: A disappointing 4-over 74 that left the Utahn out of contention for the Wanamaker Trophy.

Two of Finau’s birdies came on the final two holes, but he still lost ground to the field after entering the day tied for 30th.

The former Salt Lake City resident is at 5-over 215 entering Sunday’s final round, and out of the top 40.

Having tied for 35th in the season’s first major — the Masters — last month, Finau will attempt to top that performance at Augusta, while having an outside shot at his 14th top-10 finish in his 24th major appearance.

As in his rounds Thursday and Friday when he recorded a 70 and a 72, Finau was plagued Saturday by his penchant for hitting the ball too far left. 

His tee shot on No. 2 found the creek left and resulted in a double bogey, for instance. He birdied that 504-yard par-4 hole Thursday, then played it in 4 over the last two days.

The good news is that putts started to fall for the part-time Lehi resident. After making just two birdies the first two days, Finau rolled in three long putts Saturday to salvage an otherwise mistake-filled round. 

He made a 47-footer on No. 7, a 32-footer from the fringe on No. 14, a 10-footer on No. 17 and a 44-footer on No. 18.

Wearing a tropical-looking jacket on a cold, blustery day in Oklahoma, Finau raised his arms and looked to the sky after rolling in the birdie on No. 7, his first birdie in 31 holes.

He has still birdied only one par-5, the 13th hole on Thursday. On Saturday, he made a 6 on the 13th after a near-perfect tee shot because his second shot found water.