U.S. Open golf: How Tony Finau fared in 1st round at LA Country Club

If Utah native Tony Finau gets into contention in the 123rd U.S. Open this weekend at Los Angeles Country Club, he is probably going to rue what happened on his 17th hole in Thursday’s first round.

Finau missed a short putt — almost tap-in range — for birdie on the par-5 8th hole, having started his round on No. 10, and barely made the longer comeback putt for par.

He recovered with a routine par on No. 9, his 18th hole, to finish at 2-under 68 and is tied for 14th place heading into Friday’s second round.

The other native Utahn in the field, amateur Preston Summerhays, shot a 3-over 73 earlier Thursday and has some work to do to make the cut in his second U.S. Open appearance.

The day belonged to Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele, who played in the morning wave Thursday and posted 8-under 62s. They are the lowest rounds ever posted in the history of the U.S. Open.

Before the miscue on No. 8, Finau appeared in position to get into the top 10. He will tee off at 9:13 a.m. MDT on Friday with the same playing partners — Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth.

Finau was actually +1.08 — 45th — in strokes gained putting on Friday. His biggest issue was a wayward driver, as he hit only six of 13 fairways (T133).

Birdies on 12 and 14, the 628-yard par-5, got Finau’s round off to a solid start. He rolled in a 20-footer for par on No. 16, but couldn’t duplicate the feat on 17 from about the same distance and fell back to 1-under.

He made a routine par on No. 18 to complete his first nine at 1-under 34.

On the par-5 1st hole, he made a 2-putt birdie to get back to 2-under.

A 3-putt bogey on No. 2 dropped him back to 1-under.

He recovered with a brilliant approach to 3 feet for a tap-in birdie to get back to 2-under where he remained the remainder of the round, finishing with six straight pars.

Summerhays, who is the son of Finau’s longtime swing coach Boyd Summerhays, also began his round on the No. 10 tee.

He got off to a rocky start, making bogeys on three of his first five holes. 

A birdie on the short, 124-yard par-3 15th hole jump-started his round, and he added another birdie at No. 18 to complete his first nine at 2-over 37.

He would play the next three holes, 1-3, in 4-over, and looked to be in trouble. However, he made a remarkable turnaround, with birdies on holes 5, 6 and 8, to finish at 73 and with some momentum.

Like Finau, Summerhays hit only six of 13 fairways. He goes off the No. 1 tee at 1:37 p.m. MDT Friday, along with playing partners Scott Stallings and Lucas Herbert. From Australia, Herbert fired an even-par 70 on Thursday, while Stallings carded a 71.

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