Tony Finau made five birdies over his first 10 holes to take a three-shot lead in Round 2 of the WGC-HSBC Champions, and then got what one on-air announcer described as “one of the unluckiest breaks I’ve seen in a long, long time.”
Finau’s approach shot to the par-4 11th hit the top of a sprinkler head just short of the putting surface and carried over the green and into a hazard. Finau was able to play his third shot but hacked out, back over the opposite end of the green. He chipped up but couldn’t get down for bogey, and what would have been an easy 4 – possibly a 3, the way Finau had been playing – turned into a double-bogey 6.
”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.”
That trimmed Finau’s lead to one and he then bogeyed the 13th hole. But he birdied three of his remaining five holes, including both par 5s.
At 11 under par, he is three shots clear of first-round leader and Ryder Cup teammate Patrick Reed, Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood in Shanghai.
Finau is seeking his second career PGA Tour victory and his first since the 2016 Puerto Rico Open.