Finau fires 68 after ankle injury to seize Masters lead

web_photo_Tony Finau_06042018

Tony Finau of the US hits out of a bunker on the thirteenth hole during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, USA, 05 April 2018.

AUGUSTA, United Nations - Tony Finau, who wasn&39;t even certain he would make his Masters debut when Thursday began, fired a four-under par 68 to seize a one-stroke clubhouse lead late in the opening round at Augusta National.

 

 

The 28-year-old American suffered a partial dislocation of his left ankle Wednesday while celebrating an ace on the seventh hole of the Masters Par-3 Contest, leaping into the air and landing awkwardly.

Finau quickly popped his ankle back into place and X-rays showed only bruises and ligament issues.

 

 

He waited to have an MRI exam Thursday and found the ankle was not as swollen as he had feared. When the MRI at an Augusta hospital showed no chance of further harm to the ankle by playing or walking on it, Finau decided to play.

After an opening bogey, Finau birdied the par-5 second and par-3 fourth holes then closed the front nine with back-to-back birdies. He slid a bogey at the par-4 12th between birdies at the par-5 13th and 1th holes.

Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters champion, was on four-under through 14 holes.

A pack sharing second on 69 included China&39;s Li Haotong, Sweden&39;s Henrik Stenson, Canada&39;s Adam Hadwin and Americans Charley Hoffman and Parick Reed.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who can complete a career Grand Slam with a win, and American Matt Kuchar were on the course at 3-under par.