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Tony Finau: How did Utahn fare Thursday at the Open Championship?

Tony Finau showed a little rust Thursday morning in coming back from a two-week break from competitive golf.

The part-time Utah resident shot a 1-over 73 at the Old Course at St. Andrews in the Open Championship and was tied for 76th place when he came off the links after his first round.

Finau was nine shots behind the leader, Cameron Young of the United States, who shot an 8-under 64 with eight birdies and no bogeys.

Finau played Thursday with Will Zalatoris (73) and Hideki Matsuyama (71) and will tee off with those two players again Friday at 3:21 p.m. in Scotland (8:21 a.m. MDT).

Finau, 32, is playing in his sixth Open Championship, but first one at St. Andrews. He has two top-10 finishes at the Open in his five previous tries. He placed third in 2019 at Royal Portrush, tied for ninth in 2018 and tied for 15th last year at Royal St. George’s.

Thursday, he bogeyed the fifth and eighth holes before getting going on the ninth hole with a birdie. He also birdied 10 and 14 to get to 1-under, but gave it back with bogeys on 13, 15 and 17. A birdie on the par-4 18th got him back to 1-over and gave him a little momentum for Friday.

A graduate of Salt Lake City’s West High who spends his summers at his home in Lehi, when he is not playing golf, Finau has his work cut out for him if he hopes to make the cut, which includes the top 70 golfers, plus ties.

He can make up some ground on the greens, having three-putted three times Thursday. 

Finau has never missed the cut in back-to-back majors in his career, but is in danger of that Friday, having missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month. He has also never missed the cut in the Open Championship.

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Tony Finau watches his shot on the on the 11th hole during the first round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Cromwell, Conn. Finau posted a 1-over 73 in the first round of the Open Championship at the Old Course in St. Andrews on Thursday.

Seth Wenig, Associated Press

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