Tony Finau got a horrible bounce and then bounced back.
Finau overcame a double-bogey 6 on the 11th hole when his approach shot hit a sprinkler and went into the water, making three birdies down the stretch in a 5-under-par 67 that gave him a three-stroke lead over three players midway through the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club http://www.sheshangolf.com/en/ in Shanghai, China.
“That was about as bad a break as I’ve ever had, to kick all the way over the green into the hazard,” said Finau, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2016 Puerto Rico Open. “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. … It was nice to finish with some birdies and take the lead into the weekend, but there’s a lot of golf left to be played so I have to keep it going.”
The 29-year-old Finau, who also birdied five of the first 10 holes, posted a 36-hole score of 11-under 133.
Third-ranked Justin Rose, the defending champion, shot 67 and is tied for second with fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who had a 68, and first-round leader Patrick Reed, who finished at 72.
Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State is four shots back in fourth after a 71, followed by Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, who is one more behind in solo fifth following a 68.
Thomas Pieters of Belgium carded a 64 and is six strokes behind in a tie for seventh with Pat Perez (69) of San Diego, Kyle Stanley (69), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (71) of Thailand, Keegan Bradley (70), and Emiliano Grillo (69) of Argentina.
Tenth-ranked Jason Day of Australia is tied for 16th after a 71, top-ranked Brooks Koepka shot 74 and is tied for 40th, while second-ranked Dustin Johnson had a 73 and is tied for 46th.
Fifth-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland stumbled to a 77 and is in a tie for 58th that includes eighth-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, who totaled 76, while sixth-ranked Francesco Molinari of Italy is tied for 67th after a 75.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html