• Finau ahead after Saturday 62

    Tony Finau
    Tony Finau

    Tony Finau fired his third 62 or lower for the season to move one clear of the field at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

    A birdie at the loudest hole in golf – in a Kobe Bryant jersey too – moved him one clear of Webb Simpson.

    ‘I had a perfect number for a sand wedge and go ahead and fire right at the pin,’ Finau said. ‘Damn near made it. That would have been pretty sweet with the Kobe jersey on. But I like that shot. That was pretty nice.’

    Simpson had a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th in a 64.

    Second-round leader J.B. Holmes and Hudson Swafford were two strokes back. Holmes shot 70 and Swafford had a 66. Holmes won at TPC Scottsdale in 2006 and 2008 for the first of his five PGA TOUR titles.

    Xander Schauffele (66), Adam Long (66) and Scott Piercy (68) were another shot back.

    Finau began his back-nine charge with a birdie on 12, ran in a 20-footer for the eagle on 13, then settled for birdie on the par-5 15th after missing a 6 1/2-foot eagle try.

    After the birdie on the rowdy 16th, he three-putted for par from the fringe on the short par-4 17th — missing a 4-foot birdie attempt – and saved par on the par-4 18th after driving left into the first section of the church pew bunkers.

    ‘I missed the one on 15 where I stuffed it in there and another one on 17,’ Finau said. ‘It would be nice to have those back, I would have had the low round of my career. But it was a beautiful round of golf.’

    Branden Grace hit 8 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation but bogeys at 11 and 15 saw him signed for a 70. He will start the final round seven back

    Three bogeys in his final five holes saw Dylan Frittelli card a 72 and drop eight places to share 63rd.

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