One spectacular shot Saturday helped Tony Finau post his first under-par score of the PGA Championship.
The Lehi resident’s shot from 297 yards to within 6 feet of the hole set up an eagle on the par-5 No. 13 at Bethpage Black in New York. Finau then birdied the par-4 No. 18 to complete a round of 1-under-par 69 that included four bogeys, three birdies and his second eagle of the tournament.
Finau stands 2 over par entering Sunday’s final round. He moved into the top 40 and is in the range for what is becoming his usual finish lately in the PGA Championship. He tied for 42nd place in 2017 and tied for 44th last year (that remains his worst finish in the past seven major tournaments). Finau’s first two showings in the PGA were extreme cases, a tie for 10th in 2015 and a missed cut the following year.
Finau was tied for 57th place after two rounds. His strong back nine Saturday was made possible by improved driving. He still hit only six of 14 fairways in the third round, bringing his tournament total to 17 of 42. Bethpage Black’s angles from the tee make hitting fairways especially difficult. Finau hit 11 greens in regulation in the third round.
Finau, who’s No. 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking, has made the 36-hole cut in each of the past eight major tournaments. He’s exempt for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California in June and the British Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland in July.