AUGUSTA, Ga. – Lack of driving accuracy and poor putting have hurt Tony Finau at the rain-plagued Masters Tournament, where he sits in a tie for 28th place midway through the third round at Augusta National following a suspension of play Saturday afternoon.
For the second straight day, play was suspended mid-afternoon, this time because of heavy rain that left puddles of water on the course with more rain forecast the rest of the day.
The Salt Lake native began the round in a tie for 28th place, 11 behind leader Brooks Koepka late Friday morning, but didn’t make up any ground, falling to even-par for the tournament through 12 holes, 13 behind Koepka, who played six holes Saturday.
Because of the later start Saturday as a result of the thunderstorms on Friday, Finau started on the back nine and after parring the first three holes, birdied the par-5 13th with a four-footer. Then after a bogey at 14 when he hit into the left trees off the tee, he birdied No. 15 for the third straight day. However, he fell back to even on the day with a bogey at 17 when his tee shot landed in the trees on the right.
At the No. 1 hole, he hit into the trees on the right again, had to chip out and take another bogey, which dropped him to even par for the tournament.
He had a chance for birdie at No. 3, his 12th hole, but his putt from 12 feet circled the hole and came to rest a few inches in front of the hole.
Finau had just hit his tee shot at the par-3 4th hole when play was stopped for the day. His shot went left of the left bunker, which will make it challenging to get a par Sunday morning when play resumes.
Although he’s 10th in driving distance this week at 307 yards, Finau only ranks in a tie for 42nd in driving accuracy among the 54 players who made the cut, with 71.05 percent of fairways hit. In average putts, he ranks in a tie for 43rd with 1.71 putts per hole.
Earlier Saturday, Sandy’s Mike Weir was officially eliminated from the tournament as he came up one shot off the cut line of 147. It marked the fourth time in the past five years that he barely missed the cut, as he also missed the cut by one in 2019 and 2021 and by two in 2022 after making the cut in 2020.
With a good start on Champions Tour this year, the 53-year-old Weir had come into Masters healthy and more confident than he has been in years, pointing not only to making the cut, but perhaps finishing in the top 10 or top 20.
After a solid opening-round 72 Thursday, he struggled, going 4-over on the front nine Friday and finished with a 4-over 76. He was two off the cutline when play was suspended Friday and when the 39 players came back under tough conditions Saturday morning and several players went backward, his chances improved. However, the cut only fell to 3-over and Weir ended up just one off the cutline with his 148 total.
Finau and the other 53 players are expected to resume their rounds around 6:30 a.m. MDT Sunday and then will be re-paired for the fourth round beginning in the late morning. The forecast calls for little or no rain on Sunday and temperatures in the 50s.