Birdie Blitz sees Finau Retain Lead

Birdie Blitz sees Finau Retain Lead

Tony Finau says he is relishing the prospect of seeing out the WGC-HSBC Champions after retaining the lead through 54 holes. The overnight leader in Shanghai endured an indifferent opening 12 holes on Saturday, making three bogeys and just a single birdie before coming into his own down the stretch.

Finau picked up a shot at the 13th before birdieing the last three holes to move to 13-under after signing for a 70 in Shanghai.

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Defending champion Justin Rose looked set to strike at the turn but dropped three shots in his final two holes to drop back into a share of second on 10-under alongside Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele.

With a three-stroke advantage, Finau looks in control at Sheshan International Golf Club and says he is excited about the prospect about going for what would be the biggest win of his career on Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” said Finau. “I’ve got a world-class field chasing after me. This is the position you want to be in and I’ll be looking to close out my first tournament in this position, which is exciting for me. Whether it happens or not, it’s an experience that you learn from and you continue to move forward.

“It was great to birdie the last three. It’s always a nice way to finish no matter what position you’re in. I didn’t have a lot going my way for the first half of the day and Rosey was making his run. I was just really pleased I was able to finish that way and get some momentum going into tomorrow.”

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