Finau shares lead with three others after Houston Open first round

By Sports Desk November 10, 2022

Tony Finau is one of four players with a share of the lead after finishing Thursday's opening round of the Houston Open with a five-under 65.

Finau is joined by fellow Americans Aaron Wise and Tyson Alexander, as well as Sweden's Alex Noren, although Alexander still has one hole to play as the late-starters had their rounds cut short when darkness halted the action.

Ranked 15th in the world, Finau caught fire on his second nine, posting five birdies from his final eight holes to fly up the leaderboard.

Canadian duo Taylor Pendrith and Mackenzie Hughes headline the logjam tied for fifth at four under, with England's Justin Rose part of the 10-player group one further back at three under.

It was a rough day out for the big names in the field, with world number two Scottie Scheffler and former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama shooting even-par 70s to finish the round tied for 53rd.

That pairing at least remain in the hunt, which is more than can be said for last week's winner of the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, with Russell Henley struggling on his way to two over.

Another former Masters champion had a tough time, with Danny Willett unlikely to make the cut after his five-over 75, while world number 12 and recent Presidents Cup debutant Sam Burns had a day to forget, shooting seven over.

Related items

  • McIlroy takes three-shot lead into final round of Dubai Desert Classic McIlroy takes three-shot lead into final round of Dubai Desert Classic

    Rory McIlroy produced the best round of the day as his 65 took him three shots clear of the rest heading into the final round at the Dubai Desert Classic.

    The world number one had not been pleased with his second round as he started Sunday tied for seventh – level with Patrick Reed after their spat earlier in the week – on eight under.

    McIlroy excelled in his third round though, starting with four consecutive birdies before producing another four in five of his final six holes.

    A bogey on the 18th was the only negative from an otherwise productive day as McIlroy ended on seven under par for the round, and 15 under overall.

    "It would be great. I love this golf course. I love this tournament. I've won here a couple of times," the Northern Irishman said after his round.

    "This is my first start of the year. I don't think I've ever won in my first start of the year – I had plenty of chances at Abu Dhabi down the road over the years, and never quite got it done.

    "So tomorrow is a nice opportunity to try to do something that I've never done before."

    English pair Callum Shinkwin and Dan Bradbury are tied for second on 12 under, going round in 67 and 68 respectively.

    Reed is among seven players tied for fourth on 11 under after his 69, joining the likes of Ian Poulter, Victor Perez and Adri Arnaus.

    After a promising first two rounds, Thomas Pieters could only record a par-score of 72 to end Sunday tied for 11th on 10 under, while Tommy Fleetwood dropped to a tie for 38th on six under after also going round in 72.

  • Max Homa shoots Saturday's best round to claim Farmers Insurance Open title Max Homa shoots Saturday's best round to claim Farmers Insurance Open title

    Max Homa produced his best round of the week to erase a five-stroke deficit and win the Farmers Insurance Open with a score of 13 under.

    Low scores were hard to come by on the difficult Torrey Pines South Course, with only three players posting final scores of 10 under or better, while Homa's 13 under was the worst winning score of the season so far.

    Coming into Saturday's final round at seven under, Homa posted seven birdies and one bogey to shoot 66, tying the round of the day and finishing with a birdie on the last to win by two strokes.

    It is the sixth PGA Tour win of Homa's career, and he now has back-to-back multi-win seasons after also collecting the opening event of the campaign at September's Fortinet Championship.

    The only other player to shoot a six-under 66 in the final round was Keegan Bradley, flying up the leaderboard into outright second place at 11 under, while world number eight Collin Morikawa finished alone in third at 10 under. 

    Sam Ryder was the outright leader after the second and third rounds, but he ended up in a tie for fourth at nine under due to a 75 in his final trip around the course that twice hosted the U.S. Open.

    Coming into the event with four wins from his previous six starts, and starting Saturday at 10 under, Jon Rahm had to settle for seventh after a two-over 74, tying with former world number one Jason Day.

  • McIlroy sees 'more negatives than positives' despite remaining in contention at Dubai Desert Classic McIlroy sees 'more negatives than positives' despite remaining in contention at Dubai Desert Classic

    World number one Rory McIlroy expressed frustration with his performance at the Dubai Desert Classic, where Thomas Pieters, Michael Thorbjornsen and Richard Bland shared the halfway lead.

    The tournament will spill into Monday after adverse weather on the first two days, with Belgian Pieters, Englishman Bland and American amateur Thorbjornsen sharing the lead on 10 under heading into the final two rounds.

    McIlroy is tied for seventh place – along with Patrick Reed, after their spat earlier in the week – on eight under.

    The Northern Irishman was unhappy with his second round, however, after carding a 70 following his first-round 66.

    McIlroy birdied the third and made an eagle putt from 33 feet on the 13th, yet he bogeyed the 10th and could not beat par on any other hole.

    "More of the same really," said McIlroy when asked for his thoughts on Saturday's round.

    "I think I only hit two fairways. Once you can't hit fairways and the rough is quite thick, it's hard to get any control on your ball, get close to par fours. A little rusty, I need to do a bit of work on it.

    "I've chipped and putted it well and got myself around the course okay, been able to post a couple of decent scores and at least have a chance going into the last few days. But definitely more negatives than positives – I need to go and figure it out on the range."

    McIlroy was, however, pleased the tournament organisers extended the event through to Monday.

    He said: "I'm glad that they've gone to Monday and all the field have the opportunity to play 72 holes. It's such a big event, I think the discrepancy between these big events and the lesser ones, that fourth day could mean a lot to someone for changing the course of their year or their career.

    "We can still get to our destinations on Monday night. Thankfully for me, there's two more rounds."

    Reed also went round in 70 on Saturday, while Spain's Adri Arnaus, Sweden's Marcus Kinhult and Connor Syme of Scotland stood tied for fourth on nine under par.

    Pieters, meanwhile, recovered from a sloppy front nine by having seven birdies after the turn.

    American Thorbjornsen carded an eagle and seven birdies as he went round in 64, while Englishman Dan Bradbury registered the best score of the round, a 63, to join McIlroy and Reed on eight under, with Ian Poulter also in the eight-man group on that score.

    "It feels good," Thorbjornsen said. "I didn't have the best round yesterday and the day before, felt like I missed a lot of putts out there. I thought I had a pretty good game plan but just stuck to it today. I actually made some putts.

    "I enjoy playing professional golf a lot and I'm still an amateur, but just the golf courses that we play, the crowd out there, it's what I'm dreaming of ever since I was five or six years old. It just feels good to be out there."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.