Tony Finau fired a 6-under-par 65 on Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard after three rounds of the Mexico Open at Vidanta in Vallarta.
Finau entered Saturday with a one-shot lead before carding seven birdies, including five over his final seven holes, against just one bogey to sit at 19-under 194 through 54 holes.
Spain’s Jon Rahm picked up six birdies on the front nine and finished with 10 during his bogey-free 10-under 61, which was the low round of the day. His stellar outing vaulted him 10 spots into a tie for second with Akshay Bhatia, who logged a 63 on Saturday. Both Rahm and Bhatia sit two strokes back of Finau.
“I’m definitely a leaderboard watcher, but I didn’t see my first leaderboard until I think about 13,” Finau said. “So I think it definitely got my juices going a little bit and was able to make a few birdies coming in to stay in front of (Rahm).
“It was something I expected going into today, he’s an amazing golfer. I play with him a lot and to see him at the top of the leaderboard after only 12 or 13 holes was not a big surprise to me.”
In addition to setting a personal record with his third-round 61, Rahm also set a tournament course record at Vidanta Vallarta.
“It was a great round. To be honest, it didn’t feel — the swings didn’t feel that different today to the first two days,” Rahm said. “… Today, everything just seemed perfect, right? Made a lot of great swings and the ones that weren’t great, still gave myself a good result.”
But Rahm’s record-breaking round still wasn’t enough to catch Finau, who is 18 holes away from winning his second event this season after taking home the title at the Houston Open in November.
“It would be great to get multiple-win seasons back to back I think would be pretty special for me in my career,” Finau said. “It will be the first time and I’ll be trying to do that tomorrow.”
Brandon Wu recorded a 67 on Saturday and sits in fourth, three strokes off the lead. Will Gordon, who also logged a 67, is in fifth, and Austin Smotherman (68 on Saturday) trails Finau by seven strokes in sixth.
Andrew Putnam (69), Eric Cole (69) and South African Erik van Rooyen (72) find themselves in a three-way tie for seventh, while a group of four golfers that includes Carson Young (65) and England’s Ben Taylor (66) sit T10.
–Field Level Media