Tony Finau produced error-free golf in tough conditions at Memorial Park Golf Course to retain control of the Houston Open.
The Utah man shook off rust at the World Wide Technology Championship last week, his first outing since the Presidents Cup, and showed he was match sharp in the opening round in Texas.
He produced a blistering round of 62 on Friday to take control, after which Finau said he expected conditions to be tougher due to a change in wind direction.
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Finau was proved correct, as scoring was extremely difficult on Saturday.
The world No. 15 made nerve-steadying six-foot putts on holes one and two to ensure his momentum was not checked.
He continued to play steady golf before making a birdie on the par-five eighth. It did not look likely after finding the rough with his second shot, but he drained a 20-footer to get into red figures for the day.
The birdie on eight extended his lead to five shots, and he looked extremely comfortable - swinging the club in a manner that suggested there were more gears if required.
A hot putter is a huge benefit for any player, and Finau showed his comfort on the greens when rolling in another 20-footer on the 14th for his second birdie of the day.
It was a masterclass in controlled golf from Finau, and his arrow-straight tee shot on 18 ensured he hit every fairway in brutal conditions which added up to a round of 69 and a four-shot lead.

Third Round Leaderboard

  • 1. Tony Finau, 15-under
  • 2. Ben Taylor, 11-under
  • T3. Justin Rose, eight-under
  • T3. Wyndham Clark, eight-under
  • T3. Tyson Alexander, eight-under
  • T6. Gary Woodland, seven-under
  • T6. Joel Dahmen, seven-under
“It was A+,” Finau said when asked to rate his performance. “I hit the driver in the fairway and it opened up the game plan.
“I was able to make pars where I needed to and snuck in a couple of birdies. I thought it was a very good round.”
Ben Taylor will be in the final group alongside Finau on Sunday after posting the low round of the day, a 65, to get to 11-under.
Justin Rose spoke positively before the tournament of his hope that the injury problems that plagued him earlier in the year were behind him.
His play in Houston over the three rounds so far this week would suggest that's the case, as he produced a four-under 66 to get to eight-under.
Rory McIlroy is not in the field this week, as he prepares for the DP World Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship, but he will remain as world No. 1 after Scottie Scheffler failed to make a big move on Saturday.
A win in Houston this week would have been good enough for Scheffler to dislodge McIlroy at the top of the tree, but he carded a one-over 71 to drop to three-under after 54 holes.
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