Tony Finau has the PGA Championship figured out at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina — except for the final two holes of each round.
For the second-straight round, Finau made bogeys on his last two holes after playing his way into contention and left the Ocean Course Saturday evening wondering what might have been if he hadn’t failed to finish.
Finau posted a 2-under 70 and is at even-par 216 after 54 holes in the major championship and in a 10-way tie for 13th place.
With 50-year-old Phil Mickelson firing a 70 on Saturday and leading the tournament at 7-under, Finau probably can’t win his first major, but a reasonable goal is to get into the top 10 of a major for the ninth time in 13 starts.
Finau was there for quite awhile Saturday afternoon, making four birdies through 12 holes and looking as if he was going to play his way into contention. But after getting into the top 10 and moving into a tie for sixth, he bogeyed holes 17 and 18 — missing a 3-footer for par on No. 17 — and dropped back out.
Friday, Finau played the back nine first and was cruising along nicely before hitting the front and making bogeys on holes 8 and 9, his final two holes that day. He continued the solid tee-to-green play on Saturday, until missing the short putt on No. 17 after making a beautiful pitch from off the green.
On No. 18 on Saturday, Finau missed a 13-footer for par after hitting his tee shot into the left rough and second shot into the native area near the green.
On the front nine, he birdied holes 2, 4 and 7, making a 20-footer on the par-5 second hole and a 31-footer from off the green on the fourth hole.
Finau placed fourth at last year’s PGA Championship, which was held in the fall at Harding Park in San Francisco. At his last major, the Masters, he tied for 10th.
He’s just a shot away from getting into the top 10 — Paul Casey and Sungjae Im are tied for 10th and 1-under — and two shots from getting into the top 7.
The only other Utahn in the field, Davis County teaching pro Joe Summerhays, shot a 21-over 165 the first two rounds and did not make the cut.