Adventurous second round leaves Tony Finau inside the cut line Friday at PGA Championship — barely
Utah native fired a 3-over 73 at Oak Hill and was projected to make the cut when he left course in western New York
Former Salt Lake City resident Tony Finau said Tuesday that the golfer who wins the 2023 PGA Championship at difficult Oak Hill Country Club this weekend will be a guy who is driving the golf ball well.
Through two rounds, that guy has not been Finau, the West High graduate who entered the major as one of the hottest golfers on the planet, but had been bedeviled by Oak Hill’s narrow fairways and deep, sticky rough his first 36 holes.
Still, after Finau finished his second round with a 3-over-par 73 early Friday afternoon in Rochester, New York, to move to 5-over for the tournament, it appeared that he had done enough to make the cut.
As Finau walked off the course after a bogey on No. 9, his 18th hole Friday, tied for 74th place, television analysts were predicting the cut would come at +6, depending on weather conditions in the afternoon.
It wound up coming in at +5, meaning Finau just barely made it.
Finau shot 41-31—72 on Thursday with a remarkable turnaround on the back nine, and it appeared Friday he was going to perhaps duplicate that rebound when he birdied holes 1 and 3 to get to 1-over.
But the 33-year-old father of five made a double-bogey on the par-5 fourth hole, a day after making a bogey on the 615-yard hole Thursday.
Finau’s tee shot found the left rough, and his second shot traveled just 54 yards and stayed in the left rough. His third shot found the right rough, some 126 yards from the hole. His fourth shot landed on the green, but he three-putted from 52 feet.
He lipped out a 19-footer for birdie on No. 5 to remain at 3-over. On No. 6, Finau missed an 11-footer for par and settled for another bogey.
After a routine par on No. 7 and saving par on No. 8 with a nifty bunker shot he almost holed, Finau appeared safely inside the cut line when his tee shot on No. 9 found the fairway.
However, his approach missed the green left and long and he finished the round with a disheartening bogey.
Finau has now made the cut in 23 of his 28 career majors, and in eight of nine appearances at the PGA Championship. His best finish at a PGA was in 2020, when he tied for fourth at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, the tournament won by Collin Morikawa.