Finau Clings On To 3rd-Round: American Tony Finau kept the lead in the third round of the United States Professional Golfers Association Tour Mexico Open on Saturday but he has company in Masters winner and defending champion Jon Rahm and youngster Akshay Bhatia. US PGA Tour picks and parlays are looking forward to a big-time clash in the final round of the tournament.
Finau Clings On To 3rd Round: Low Scores Galore
Overnight leader Tony Finau shot a 6-under-par 65 at the Vidanta Vallarta for a 54-hole total of 19-under 194. In striking distance was Rahm, who shot a course record 10-under-par 61 to put himself into contention at 17-under 196. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Bhatia shot an eagle-aided 8-under-par 63 to tie Rahm for second. Brandon Wu continued his excellent shotmaking this weekend with a 67 to be in fourth place, three shots off the pace. Will Gordon is in solo fifth at 13-under 200 after shooting a 67. First-round Austin Smotherman is one stroke further at 201 after shooting a 68. The trio of Andrew Putnam (69), Eric Cole (69) and South African Erik van Rooyen (72) are in joint seventh at 202. Four other parbusters are tied for 10th place at 203 and they were US golfer Carson Young (65), England’s Ben Taylor (66), Argentine Emiliano Grillo (67) and American Cameron Champ (69).
Finau Keeps Composure as Rahm, Bhatia Rally
World number 16 Finau continued his outstanding play on Saturday with a birdie in the first hole and another in the seventh. It was even better in the back-nine despite a bogey in the 17th as he made birdies on the 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 18th holes. The 18-hole stretch kept him at the top of the leaderboard, two shots ahead of Rahm and Bhatia, who had better rounds. Defending champion Rahm, who is making his second start since he claimed a second career major at Augusta National this month, immediately made his presence felt by rolling a 39-footer for a birdie at the first. He followed it up with a 26-foot birdie putt at the second and a two-feet shot at the fourth. He made three straight birdies between the sixth and eighth holes and duplicated this with birdies at the 12th, 13th and 14th holes. He made his 10th birdie at the par-3 17th and he had a chance to break his career best at the 18th but he settled for par. Bhatia, on the other hand, carded eighth birdies and an eagle but had bogeys at the fourth and eighth holes to settle for 17-under. Wu, who shot five birdies as against one bogey, still has an outside chance of winning the title but he needs to shot within the lower 60s in the fourth round to remain in contention.
Sunday’s final round is turning out to be an exciting contest between four golfers who are separated by three shots at the most. Sports oddsmakers are looking forward for a Finau-Rahm clash in the homestretch of the tournament but are not sleeping on the fact that Bhatia and Wu are capable of pulling off that final-round surge that could overcome Finau’s lead and eventually win the contest. All that matters on Sunday is the final 18 holes that whoever conquers the course for the final time will win the Mexico Open title.