Unlucky 13: Tony Finau's 'pretty good' 3rd round undone by triple bogey at US Open


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SALT LAKE CITY — Tony Finau's playing partner Rory McIlroy made good use of moving day at the U.S. Open.

Until a two-hole stretch on the back nine, so did Finau. But the self-affirmed Swiftie probably isn't much of a fan of the No. 13 as his wife's favorite artist.

Spurred by a triple bogey on the par-4, 368-yard 13th hole, Finau shot 2-over-par 72 to fall into a tie for seventh place, six shots back of leader Bryson DeChambeau after Saturday's third round at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club (course No. 2).

Fellow Utahn Zac Blair also found trouble on moving day, shooting 5-over 75. The former BYU star who prepped at Fremont High carded five bogeys in a birdie-free round to fall into a tie for 25th at 4-over.

"Today, the wind actually blew enough to really make shots tricky coming in," Finau said. "The back nine was pretty tricky trying to gauge the wind. You have to hit the proper flight to even hold these greens.

"Overall, the conditions of the golf course are starting to firm out. I'm sure that will continue tomorrow."

McIlroy affirmed the "really difficult U.S. Open" round that was Saturday after he carded four birdies with three bogeys.

"I think everything we expected it to be," he said. "The course is getting crispy. Some of the pin positions are pretty tricky. Felt like a lot of them were cut on little crowns. There was a lot of uphill putts but then after the hole it went downhill, so pretty tricky to get the pace right. It caught me out a couple times."

McIlroy shot 69 to sit three shots back of the lead, tied for second with France's Matthieu Pavon, and two shots up on Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and Sweden's Ludvig Åberg. Finau was tied for seventh at 1-under with England's Tyrrell Hatton.

Playing alongside former Utah junior golf colleague McIlroy, Finau opened his third round by sticking his approach shot within 10 feet of the hole to birdie the par-4, 514-yard second hole and pull within a shot of the lead.

Aberg restored the two-shot lead moments later with his first of three birdies on the day. But like Finau, the Swedish international struggled on the back nine including a triple bogey on the same 13th hole as the Rose Park native.

Pavon bogeyed No. 11 to drop from the lead into a tie for the lead with Finau and DeChambeau. But DeChambeau nailed down back-to-back birdies at Nos. 10 and 11 before finishing with six birdies, a bogey and a double bogey to sign for 67 in the third round.

At nearly the same moment, Finau found trouble on the back nine. The Rose Park native shot 4-over on the 12th and 13th holes that included a triple bogey on the par-4, 368-yard No. 13. Finau initially opted to use his putter to push his ball close to the hole with an approach shot — but hit long into the greenside bunker. He chipped out, but the ball rolled back near its original lie before he ultimately shot 7 on the hole.

"That green is pretty crazy right there where that pin is. Just wrong time to miss a shot," Finau explained after his round. "I was looking right at the flag, pulled it a little, came all the way down. From there, I decided to hit a putt from 20 yards off the green. Didn't have a very good lie. Didn't really want to pitch it. Ended up playing ping-pong there.

"Outside of that, I was happy the way I hung in there coming in. I could have easily folded. But depends on how Bryson finishes up. He's obviously going to have a pretty healthy lead, especially over me."

Finau will tee off Sunday morning at 11:48 a.m. MDT with Hatton, while Blair will head to the tee box at 9:31 a.m. MDT alongside Ireland's Shane Lowry. DeChambeau and Pavon will play in the final pairing at 12:21 p.m. MDT on NBC and Peacock.

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