Utah’s Tony Finau opens the Masters with a 68, challenging Jordan Spieth for the lead

Tony Finau opens the Masters

(Charlie Riedel | AP Photo) Tony Finau reacts after his birdie on the 15th hole during the first round at the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Augusta, Ga.

Augusta, Ga • When the day began, Tony Finau was not sure he would be cleared to tee off in the first round of the Masters, due to an ankle injury.

The Lehi resident shot a 4-under-par 68. Shortly after Finau finished his round, 2015 champion Jordan Spieth moved to 5 under with a birdie on No. 15.

Sandy resident Mike Weir, the 2003 winner, opened with a 76 and has a chance to make Friday’s 36-hole cut.

The PGA Tour’s leader in driving distance, Finau birdied all four of Augusta National’s par-5 holes. He also birdied the par-3 No. 4 and the par-4 No. 9, while bogeying two par-4s – Nos. 1 and 14. He made lengthy putts to save pars on the last two holes.

Finau dislocated his ankle Wednesday afternoon after running and backpedaling down the fairway after making a hole-in-one on No. 7 of the annual Par 3 Contest. He popped the bone back into place and finished the round, then had X-rays that evening and an MRI early Thursday.

Finau and his coach, Boyd Summerhays, worked on setup and swing adjustments that kept him from having to transfer weight onto his side and put extra stress on his ankle.

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