The golfer who appeared to injure his ankle celebrating in the Par 3 contest dominated the first day of the Masters

Andrew Redington/Getty ImagesTony 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.
  • Tony Finau dislocated his ankle on Wednesday while celebrating his hole-in-one during the Masters Par 3 contest.
  • The injury put his status for the Masters in jeopardy, but after he was cleared to play, Finau went out and shot one of the lowest rounds in the whole field.
  • Finau’s turnaround flips the script on a long-known superstition about the Par 3 contest.

Tony Finau has had a whirlwind past two days at Augusta National.

Ranked as the 34th best golfer in the world, Finau was set to participate in the Masters and was enjoying the pre-Masters festivities of the Par 3 contest on Wednesday. Things were going smoothly, and when he hit a hole-in-one, he ran down to the green to retrieve his ball in excitement.

But as Finau ran, he tripped, visibly dislocating his ankle. Unfazed, Finau popped his ankle back into place and continued his day at the golf course.

Still, it was questionable whether or not Finau would be able to compete in his Thursday tee time. But after a night of rest and receiving medical clearance that he was good to go, Finau went out and had the round of his life at Augusta National.

Finau shot a four-under, 68, on Thursday that included six birdies, and took a share of the lead to the clubhouse when he sunk a big putt to save par on the 18th green.

Improbably, the man who was questionable to compete after a mishap in the Par 3 contest shot one of the lowest rounds of the day.

Legend notes that the winner of the Par 3 contest has never gone on to win the Masters. If that’s the case, it’s possible that Finau has discovered some bizarre inverse of this curse – injure yourself at the Par 3 contest, and you’ll shoot lights out when the time comes to hit for real.

Finau will have to keep his play up for three more days if he wants to stay atop the leaderboard, but there’s no doubt that his first round at Augusta National went about as well as he could’ve imagined.

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