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Mar 29, 2024 9:04 pm

Reigning champ Tony Finau surges ahead for Houston Open lead

tony finau

Defending champion Tony Finau caught fire toward the end of his round and posted an 8-under 62 to grab the 36-hole lead at the Texas Children’s Houston Open on Friday at Memorial Park Golf Course.

After starting his day with three birdies on the back nine and making the turn with a bogey 5 at No. 1, Finau rolled in birdies at Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 7 before a perfectly read chip-in eagle at the par-5 eighth to go out in 5-under 30.

Finau rose to 9 under for the tournament, where few players could threaten him the rest of the day. Argentina’s Alejandro Tosti made a 30-foot birdie at his last hole, the par-3 ninth, to polish off a 67 and take second place at 7 under; Belgium’s Thomas Detry carded a 64 and is alone in third at 6 under.

Finau had his putter to thank for most of his birdies down the stretch. He drained a left-to-right 27-footer at the fourth hole, a tough right-to-left 30-footer at the sixth and another 30-footer at the par-3 seventh to take the outright lead.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler touched 7 under several times during his round but settled for an up-and-down 70 and a tie for fourth at 5 under. After a bogey and three birdies on his front nine, Scheffler picked up two more of each down the stretch before making a mess of the par-4 18th green.

After lipping out a par putt, his 2-footer for bogey also refused to go down and he accepted a double bogey. Scheffler’s streak of 28 straight rounds under par on tour was halted by the even-par 70.

–Field Level Media

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