Tony Finau defies injury to shoot 'miracle' 68 in Masters first round

Apr 07, 2018, 01:30
Tony Finau defies injury to shoot 'miracle' 68 in Masters first round

However, Finau defied the ankle injury with a superb four-under-par 68 - good enough for the lead at one stage before a red-hot Jordan Spieth claimed a two-stroke lead by the close of play on Thursday. "His record is spectacular around here".

"I was able to stay in the moment because of my foot", Finau said.

Every shot I hit, I thought about it.

Asked how he managed to get round one of the hardest golf courses in the world after simply popping his ankle back into place, he said it was all, figuratively speaking, in the head.

Tony Finau was questionable to compete in the Masters after injuring his ankle celebrating a hole-in-one on Wednesday, but he tore up Augusta National. I just started sprinting. He's played 17 career rounds at Augusta National - shooting in the 60s six times. He wasn't sure he could play until tests showed he was cleared to play.

His third shot landed past the hole and left him with a downhill, 20-foot par putt that he missed left.

Defending champion Sergio Garcia's charge is nearly certainly over, though.

He matched the highest single-hole score in Masters history.

But in 2003, Mike Weir became the first lefty to win the Masters, and lefties followed with seven more major victories - five for Phil Mickelson, two for Bubba Watson - in the next 15 years. He felt he played better than he scored. He was tied for 29th.

But the long-hitter quickly steadied the ship with a birdie at the par-five second, which marked the start of a flawless 12-hole stretch that included five birdies.

In one sense, he was happy to be playing.

"I saw where it was and I knew where it needed to be", he said. And, you know, I feel like my back's been up against the wall my whole life, so something like this is just another part of the story, I guess. "But also the fact that I got myself back in this tournament, and I could have easily let it slip away". It's been replayed in my mind a lot.