Nassau (Bahamas), Dec 2 (PTI) Debutants Tony Finau and Jon Rahm shared the 54-hole lead with Henrik Stenson after an absorbing third day at the Hero World Challenge here.Also Read - 3 People Stranded on The Bahamas Island Survive 33 Days by Eating Rats & Coconuts!
Finau (67), Rahm (69) and Stenson (69) — who has four Top-fives in five starts at this event in the past — are all at 13-under going into the fourth and final round at the Albany Golf Course. Also Read - 20-Time PGA Tour Winner Doug Sanders Dies at 86
Defending champion Rickie Fowler (67), who rallied from seven shots behind last year to card a stunning 11-under 61 and win the tournament, has risen to fifth at 10-under and three behind the leaders. Also Read - Tiger Woods Remains in Hunt For First World Challenge Title in Eight Years
The tournament host, Tiger Woods (72) occupied the bottom place of the 18-man field and he was 11 off the lead.
Woods dropped three shots in the first three holes but also had five birdies in his 72 and at the third he has a triple bogey and overall had a lot of problem with chipping.
Alex Noren had a very colourful card on the back nine, as he had two eagles and a triple bogey in a three-holes stretch from 15 to 17.
In fact from 14th hole he went birdie, eagle, triple bogey, hole-in-one (eagle) and birdie on 18 but his card was 70 and he was one-over for first 13.
Behind the three leaders are Fowler (67, 10-under), Xander Schauffele (66, 9-under) and Dustin Johnson (72, 9-under) and they can all be factors on Sunday.
Finau is having his best season, so the stage is set for a keen battle.
After his sole PGA Tour win in Puerto Rico back in March 2016 when the event was held in the same week as WGC-Dell, Finau has been knocking on the doors hard this year.
This year alone he has been runner-up three times at the Genesis Open, the Northern Trust Open and the WGC-HSBC, which falls in the 2019 season.
He has also been in Top-10 in three of the four Majors and three of the four FedExCup play-off events. So a win at Hero would be a deserving one.
Finau, who had shot 64 on the second day, shot 67 in third round. He devoured the Par-5s with birdies in four of the five.
“I played nicely. I took care of the par 5s, and on this golf course, we have five of them. I think that’s what you have to do to play well, so I was able to do that today,” he said.
He will go out in the lead pairing with Rahm, who has continued to be on a roll for a long time.
In his last event as an amateur in June 2016 at the US Open, he started as 551st in the world. He finished T-23 and turned pro the following week at Quicken Loans where he was T-third.
Rising swiftly he reached No. 4, though currently he is eighth, but has already attained superstar status.
Stenson, on the other hand, has been without a win for 15 months since Wyndham in August, 2017 and is getting back to form after an elbow procedure.
Stenson fancies his chances this week.
“So it’s a three-way tie for the lead, yeah. So it’s very open in that sense. I remember last year the start that Rickie Fowler had was 8 under through 9, right? So it’s anyone’s tournament at this stage, so I’m just happy to be in that position.” Justin Rose, who needs to be in Top-3 to get the World No.1 ranking back, had four birdies in the final seven holes as he shot 68 and is Tied-8th with Patrick Reed, who bounced back from his second round 78 with 66. He shot 65 on first day.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.