Published on October 26, 2018

Finau Dominates Day Two at the WGC-HSBC Champions

Tony Finau of the United States. Photo: Getty Images

Tony Finau will take a three-shot lead into the weekend at the WGC-HSBC Champions after firing a 67 on a day of twists and turns at Sheshan International Golf Club.

The American entered the second round two shots behind overnight leader Patrick Reed but soon overhauled him and led by three before an unfortunate double-bogey on the 11th. Three birdies in his last five holes then moved the 29-year-old back to 11 under, three shots ahead of Masters Tournament champion Reed, defending champion Justin Rose and reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood.

Finau made his Ryder Cup debut for the United States in the recent defeat at Le Golf National and is looking for his first European Tour win in just his 20th appearance. He played his first regular event in a decade at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship earlier this month and arrived in Shanghai with some momentum after a top ten in Scotland.

Finau said, “I played nicely. Was happy with the way I finished. I was pleased to make a few birdies coming down the stretch. 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. I think I just stay in attack mode. I think there’s guys, a lot of great players here that are looking to chase me down. I’ve got to stay in attack mode, continue to make birdies and if I limit the mistakes, I think it will be a good weekend.”

Fleetwood and Reed are currently second and third respectively in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex as they look to chase down Francesco Molinari, while Rose could go back to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking should results go his way over the weekend.

Belgian Thomas Pieters matched the lowest round of the week with a 64 to sit at five-under alongside Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Keegan Bradley, Emiliano Grillo, Pat Perez, and Kyle Stanley.

Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat is still not out of the running despite returning with a second-round one-under-par 71. The Thai, who has already enjoyed two top-five finishes in his previous two WGC events in Mexico and the United States this year, will head into the weekend rounds in tied-seventh place. While conceding he has yet to play to his true potential this week, Kiradech is pleased he is still in contention for his first WGC win and there is a marked improvement in his short game.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand. Photo: Asian Tour

Kiradech said, “It’s not a bad spot to be here. It’s really tough conditions with the wind all around, so strong. Makes the golf course completely different from the first round and was more difficult. But at least I got my putting back. I rolled the ball quite well. My short game around the green was great. I just didn’t keep the driver quite as good as I used to. I think I only hit four or five fairways all day, but need to hit more greens, as well. When the winds pick up, you need to hit more from the fairways and give yourself more opportunity to putt. This week, I don’t feel I have my A Game yet. I don’t totally have it back, but much better than what I had the last few weeks.”


Second Round Scores

133 T Finau (USA) 66 67,
136 T Fleetwood (Eng) 68 68, P Reed (USA) 64 72, J Rose (Eng) 69 67,
137 X Schauffele (USA) 66 71,
138 P Cantlay (USA) 70 68,
139 K Stanley (USA) 70 69, E Grillo (Arg) 70 69, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 68 71, T Pieters (Bel) 75 64, P Perez (USA) 70 69, K Bradley (USA) 69 70,
140 I Poulter (Eng) 69 71, R Fox (Nzl) 70 70, B Horschel (USA) 68 72,
141 A Levy (Fra) 71 70, A Putnam (USA) 70 71, R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 68 73, J Day (Aus) 71 70, P Casey (Eng) 73 68,
142 H Matsuyama (Jpn) 72 70, T Hatton (Eng) 72 70, A Scott (Aus) 69 73, A Hadwin (Can) 74 68,
143 B Grace (RSA) 72 71, C Reavie (USA) 70 73, A Pavan (Ita) 72 71, A Noren (Swe) 74 69, G Coetzee (RSA) 69 74, A Sullivan (Eng) 72 71,
144 G Bhullar (Ind) 72 72, M Wallace (Eng) 69 75, T Olesen (Den) 75 69, C Pan (Tpe) 68 76,
145 A Björk (Swe) 70 75, W Liang (Chn) 72 73, P Kizzire (USA) 74 71, S Kodaira (Jpn) 72 73, H Li (Chn) 73 72,
146 J Catlin (USA) 75 71, B Harman (USA) 73 73, S Vincent (Zim) 73 73, S Kim (USA) 72 74, B An (Kor) 75 71, B Koepka (USA) 72 74,
147 J Harding (RSA) 76 71, D Johnson (USA) 74 73, J Ritchie (RSA) 71 76, J Norris (Aus) 74 73, A Otaegui (Esp) 72 75, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 67 80,
148 E Van Rooyen (RSA) 76 72, S Park (Kor) 77 71, A Bland (Aus) 72 76, C Smith (Aus) 76 72, X Zhang (Chn) 72 76, O Bekker (RSA) 77 71,
149 C Hoffman (USA) 74 75, K Na (USA) 75 74, Y Ikeda (Jpn) 75 74, Y Yuan (Chn) 78 71, J Suri (USA) 74 75, R McIlroy (Nir) 72 77, J Scrivener (Aus) 75 74, J Rahm (Esp) 73 76,
150 J Campillo (Esp) 73 77,
151 B Snedeker (USA) 75 76, R Knox (Sco) 74 77, F Molinari (Ita) 76 75, L Bjerregaard (Den) 77 74,
153 B Rumford (Aus) 73 80, A Wu (Chn) 73 80,
154 Y Liu (Chn) 75 79, B Stone (RSA) 74 80,
155 B Xiao (Chn) 76 79,
156 Y Inamori (Jpn) 74 82,
160 S Sharma (Ind) 80 80,
** C Wood (Eng) WD 0,