Tony Finau is 18 holes from the biggest win of his promising career.
He’s so close he can taste it – right?
“No,” he answered. “There’s 18 holes to play. I know there’s a world-class field. I have to keep my head down for 18 more holes and keep doing my thing. You know, I didn’t give up today and that’s always my mentality – just keep fighting till the end, and we’ll see where the chips fall after 72 holes tomorrow.”
That’s some deeply uninspiring athlete talk from Finau, but it’s not off-base.
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He staked himself to a three-shot lead through three rounds when he was on the better side of a five-shot swing with Justin Rose over the final two holes Saturday.
And it was Rose who charged from eight back to win this event last year.
That’s why Finau isn’t celebrating just yet, and that’s why he won’t play defense Sunday. With the first 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career, he’ll be on the “attack.”
“Attack. You have to make birdies,” he said. “The guys are going to be after me tomorrow. I have to do a better job early than I did today and try to limit the mistakes and have them make birdies to catch me. That will be the goal tomorrow. It will be a lot of fun no matter what happens. …
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’ve got a world-class field chasing after me. This is the position you want to be in. And, you know, I’ll be looking to close out my first tournament in this position, which is exciting for me. Whether it happens or not, it’s an experience that you learn from and you continue to move forward.”