Hero World Challenge 2018: Tony Finau joins Jon Rahm, Henrik Stenson in the lead

Tony Finau shoots a five-under 67 and joins overnight leaders Jon Rahm and Henrik Stenson in the lead for a 54-hole tally of 13-under 203.

After a flawless front-nine 32, Henrik Stenson bogeyed twice coming home for a 37. Photo: AP

With a round to go, three leaders are 11 shots ahead of last-man Tiger Woods. Though it is clear that the World No. 13 is out of title-contention in the USD 3.5 million Hero World Challenge here, he could still make a charge on Sunday for the seventh spot, or under, and finish the year as a top-10 player.

Much before Tony Finau shot a five-under 67 and joined overnight leaders Jon Rahm and Henrik Stenson in the lead for a 54-hole tally of 13-under 203, Tiger dropped three strokes on the first three holes — including a rare, double-bogey-7 — and battled to even par but stayed firmly in the cellar.

Stenson cards 69

Twice runner-up Stenson, who at one point enjoyed a two-shot lead at -14, could only match Rahm’s card of 69. After a flawless front-nine 32, he bogeyed twice coming home for a 37.

Rahm had a less-dramatic showing with a bogey on either side of the turn against five birdies, including two, late on the back nine.

Jon Rahm shot 69. He had a bogey on either side of the turn against five birdies, including two, late on the back nine. Photo: AP

 

Finau, after dropping a shot on the second hole, birdied four times before the turn and twice in succession during his flawless display over 16 holes. In contrast to Finau’s run, fourth-placed Gary Westland fired six birdies before his lone bogey on the par-4 16th. A stroke behind was defending champion Rickie Fowler in the fifth spot. He shot a second straight 67 after gaining four strokes over the last five holes.

Contrasting cards

Day One leaders Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay again produced contrasting cards. Starting the day in the penultimate spot, Reed fired a redeeming 66 — the best of the day with Xander Schauffele — while matching his first-day birdie count of eight.

Read | Situation not alarming, says Tiger Woods

Starting the day as joint-third, Cantlay slipped with the day’s worst 76. A triple-bogey on the second hole and two bogeys on the last three holes reflected his misery. In fact, Cantlay was the only one to go over-par on a day without a bogey-free card. In the midst, perhaps, the most dramatic and eventful card of the year came from Alex Noren as he returned a 70. Between bookend birdies on the 13th and 18th holes, Noren shot an eagle-3, a triple-bogey-7 and a hole-in-one!

World No. 2 Justin Rose carded a third successive 70 on his home course to hold the 11th spot.

(The writer is in Nassau at the invitation of Hero MotoCorp)

The scores (from America, unless stated)
  • 203 - Tony Finau (72, 64, 67); Jon Rahm (Esp, 71, 63, 69), Henrik Stenson (Swe, 68, 66, 69);
  • 205 - Gary Woodland (72, 66, 67);
  • 206 - Rickie Fowler (72, 67, 67);
  • 207 - Xander Schauffele (73, 68, 66), Dustin Johnson (68, 67, 72), Patrick Reed (65, 77, 66), Justin Rose (Eng, 70, 70, 68), Alex Noren (Swe, 69, 69, 70);
  • 210 - Justin Thomas (70, 70, 70);
  • 211 - Bubba Watson (69, 73, 69), Patrick Cantlay (65, 70, 76);
  • 212 - Bryson DeChambeau (70, 71, 71), Keegan Bradley (71, 69, 72);
  • 213 - Jason Day (Aus, 71, 72, 70), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn, 74, 68, 71);
  • 214 - Tiger Woods (73, 69, 72).