Friday’s golf: Finau shrugs off bad break to lead HSBC
Tony Finau has enjoyed such a good year that he wasn’t about to let one bad break get him down Friday in the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Finau had built a three-shot lead as Patrick Reed began to stumble when Finau hit an approach from the rough on the 11th hole toward the green at the Sheshan International. The ball landed on a sprinkler, shot high in the air and rolled over the back and into the hazard. It led to a double bogey and cut his lead to one shot.
Finau didn’t flinch, however.
He had a pair of birdies on the par 5s, laid up on the reachable par-4 16th and made birdie, and wound up with a 5-under 67. That put him at 11-under 133, three shots clear of Reed (72), Tommy Fleetwood (68) and defending champion Justin Rose (67).
“That was about as bad a break as I’ve ever had, to kick all the way over the green into the hazard,” Finau said. “One thing I’ve learned in this game, you take the good with the bad and keep moving forward. I knew I was playing well still and still at the top of the leaderboard. Just keep plugging along and try to get that back and I was able to do that.”
Reed opened with a pair of quick birdies in a swirling wind that came out of the opposite direction of the first round. He made his first bogey of the tournament on the fifth hole of the second round by missing a 4-foot putt after a smart chip shot from deep rough. Then, he hit into the water on No. 6 and had to scramble to make bogey. He also hit into the water on the par-5 eighth, but his short game allowed him to save par.
Byrum up at Invesco
Tom Byrum birdied five of the last seven holes for a 6-under 66 and the first-round lead Friday in the PGA Tour Champions’ Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
“Just got on a nice roll, made some nice putts and made some good shots and just capitalized on it,” Byrum said. “It was just what you write up out there, ‘Picture that shot, hit it and go knock it in.’ It works out when you can do that.
The top 54 in the season standings qualified for the second of three playoff events, with 50 players making the trip to Sherwood Country Club. The top 36 at the end of the tournament will advance to the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix on Nov. 8-11.
Scott Parel was a stroke back. He won the Boeing Classic in August for his first Champions title.
Hsu cards 67 in Taiwan
Wei-Ling Hsu was feeling the love from her home crowd at the LPGA Taiwan Championship on Friday, and it inspired her to a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke lead after two rounds.
Hsu had a total of 9-under 135 on the Ta Shee Golf and Country Club, one ahead of first-round leader Jodi EwartShadoff (71). Former No. 1 Lydia Ko was the big mover Friday with a round-of-the day 66 to move into third place and within two strokes of her lead.
Xiong, Champ tied
Norman Xiong shot a 5-under 67 on Friday on another damp, chilly day at the Country Club of Jackson for a share of the second-round lead with Cameron Champ at the Sanderson Farms Championship.
The 19-year-old Xiong — who made his first cut in seven career starts — is trying to become the second-youngest winner on tour since 1932. He matched Champ at 9 under for the tournament. Brian Stuard of Jackson shot par at 72.