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Eagle helps Utah’s Tony Finau advance to the PGA Championship’s weekend rounds

With better weather, Salt Lake City native shoots an even-par 72 on Friday; fellow Utahn Joe Summerhays fails to make the cut after shooting an 84

(David J. Phillip | AP) Tony Finau takes his second shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course Friday, May 21, 2021, in Kiawah Island, S.C.

Tony Finau’s eagle on his 16th hole Friday removed any doubt about his opportunity to play the weekend rounds of the PGA Championship.

Even so, the West High School graduate undoubtedly left the Kiawah Island Golf Resort wishing he could have made a lot more putts in addition to that 15-footer on the Ocean Course’s par-5 No. 7. Finau missed a birdie attempt from inside 4 feet on No. 2 and failed to save pars on his last two holes, posting an even-par 72 in the second round.

Finau is 2 over for the tournament, making the 36-hole cut for the 14th time in the last 15 major events (missing in the 2019 U.S. Open). He was tied for 59th place when he finished his round in the early afternoon in South Carolina. As other golfers played amid increasing wind, Finau rose to a tie for 32nd.

Teaching pro Joe Summerhays of Syracuse ended his second appearance in the PGA Championship with an 84, even with two birdies. Summerhays finished at 21 over par for two days, playing Nos. 14-18 in a total of 13 over — although he didn’t finish last among the 20 club professionals in the field.

Starting his round on No. 10, Finau made nine pars before capitalizing on an approach shot to 10 feet for a birdie on No. 1. After the missed opportunity on No. 2, he bogeyed the par-3 No. 5 by missing a 5-foot par putt after his tee shot stopped on the fringe of the green.

Having birdied No. 7 in the first round, he played that hole even better Friday. Following a 365-yard drive, just into the left rough, Finau hit his second shot from 207 yards to within 15 feet and made the eagle putt.

But then he bogeyed the par-3 No. 8 by missing the green to the left, chipping short and missing a 12-foot putt. On the par-4 No. 9, his second shot from the right rough went into a bunker and he eventually missed an 8-foot par attempt.

In less windy conditions, Finau’s driving accuracy and overall ball-striking were much better in the second round. In comparison to the field, he gained 4.1 strokes from tee to green, according to datagolf.com.

Summerhays birdied two par-4s with approach shots to within 10 feet, but otherwise struggled in a round that he started on No. 1. He made two double bogeys, plus a triple bogey on the par-5 No. 16 as his drive failed to clear the water. That contributed to his 8-over finish Friday on Nos. 14-18, the Ocean Course’s toughest stretch of holes.