Late rally lets Finau keep 3-shot lead in Shang­hai

Centre Daily Times (Sunday) - - Sports -

Tony Finau strug­gled for so much of Satur­day in the HSBC Cham­pi­ons that he was hope­ful of a strong fin­ish to carry some mo­men­tum into the fi­nal round.

He got much more than he imag­ined.

Finau closed with three straight birdies for a 2un­der 70 and kept his three-shot lead be­cause of a late col­lapse by Justin Rose, who played the fi­nal two holes in five more shots than Finau re­quired.

“There was no need to panic,” Finau said. “Just play some good golf com­ing down the stretch, and I was able to do that.”

Finau was at 13-un­der 203 and led by three over Justin Rose, Mas­ters cham­pion Pa­trick Reed and Xan­der Schauf­fele.

Finau was on the verge of fall­ing three shots be­hind on the 16th hole af­ter Rose had pitched to within 3 feet for a birdie, and Finau hit wedge that came up well short. He rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt from off the green to stay within two shots, hit a tee shot that rolled to within 18 inches of the cup for a short birdie on the par-3 17th, and then holed a 12foot birdie putt on the 18th.

Rose wasted a great round with a sloppy fin­ish and had to set­tle for a 70.

He was two shots ahead go­ing to the 17th when his tee shot went off the side of a hill and into a haz­ard, lead­ing to dou­ble bo­gey. Then, his 4-iron to the par-5 18th was too far right and tum­bled down the hill and into the wa­ter. He had a chance to save par un­til miss­ing a 4-foot putt.

“Three back go­ing into to­mor­row, which is not ex­actly how it looked like it was go­ing to be with a cou­ple holes to play,” Rose said. “There are three guys at 10 un­der who are all go­ing to be chas­ing pretty hard, but noth­ing to lose to­mor­row. It’s go­ing to take a good round. I’m play­ing well, feel­ing good. Just got to put that last cou­ple holes be­hind me and come out a lit­tle bit an­gry to­mor­row.”

Reed didn’t make a par over the last six holes, with four birdies and two bo­geys. He missed a 15-foot ea­gle chance on the reach­able par-4 16th, and then peeled his tee shot to the right down the slope into the haz­ard on the 17th to make bo­gey. A short birdie on the 18th gave him a 70.

But the real col­lapse came from Rose, who had led since a short birdie on the sev­enth hole and ap­peared to be in com­plete con­trol of his game.

And then it was gone.


Tony Finau lines up his shot dur­ing Satur­day’s third round of the HSBC Cham­pi­ons tour­na­ment.

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