2022 Houston Open leaderboard, scores: Tony Finau holds lead in tough conditions in Round 3

Memorial Park Golf Course played quite differently in the third round of the 2022 Houston Open compared to the previous two days. With cold weather and stormy conditions moving into the Houston area overnight, what has remained the same is the name that occupies the top spot on the leaderboard: Tony Finau.

The 36-hole leader couldn’t replicate the fireworks of his first two rounds that included a total of 16 birdies, but on Saturday it wasn’t necessary. Posting a 2-under 68, Finau carded 16 pars and two birdies to move to 15 under and maintain his four-way lead heading into Sunday.

With his competitors feeling the wrath of Memorial Park, the 33-year-old hit, often playing conservatively to the middle of the green and taking what the golf course would give him. Hitting 14 of 14 fairways and missing just two greens in regulation, it was Finau’s long game that managed to ease any significant stress from his time.

While Finau showed poise on pole position, it was England’s Ben Taylor who was the star of the day. Posting a 5-under 65, Taylor cruised through the afternoon round and advanced to Sunday’s final group along with Finau. At 11 under, Taylor will pose the biggest threat to Finau as he not only seeks his first PGA Tour win but also his first top-10 finish. His previous best effort was a T20 result in the 2021 Barbasol Championship.

The leader

1. Tony Finau (-15)

The opening 5-under 65 was impressive, the 8-under 62 was special, but Finau’s 2-under 68 on Saturday may have been the most memorable of all. With Memorial Park playing more than a stroke over par, the American looked as good as ever. While he let his share of chances fall by the wayside on the greens, it was about as easy as a third round for a PGA Tour leader has been in quite some time, and even more so considering the conditions.

Other contenders

2. Ben Taylor (-11)

T3. Justin Rose, Wyndham Clark, Tyson Alexander (-8)

T6. Gary Woodland, Joel Dahmen (-7)

T8. Scott Piercy, Russell Knox, Aaron Rai, Mackenzie Hughes, James Hahn, Alex Noren, Patrick Rodgers (-6)

The Ryder Cup has been discussed frequently in these writings and it is encouraging to see Rose’s name on the front page of the leaderboard. After experiencing a 2021-22 season that featured just two top-10 finishes, the Englishman’s presence is a welcome sight not only for him but also for his fellow Europeans. With the home side in Rome expecting to renew half their squad, a veteran presence like Rose in the dressing room could go a long way. Still 10 months away, Rose is a player to watch as we approach 2023.

“I feel like I have to put my foot on the gas a little bit. It hasn’t been the best year, and obviously the 2022-23 season has started and it’s time to get some points and get into it,” Triantafyllos said. “The last couple of seasons I’ve been on the sidelines a little bit on the outside looking in at the FedExCup, so it’s not a position I want to keep putting myself in.”

Dealing with the day

It’s a big day in college football and golf with Jordan Spieth appearing on ESPN’s “College GameDay” as the guest ahead of Texas vs. TCU. Despite the number of games played on Saturday on both the gridiron and the golf course, the tackle of the afternoon may go to this mother. Spotting her child from running on the green at Memorial Park, the mother was lucky there was no flag in the project.

2022 Houston Open updated odds and picks

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

  • Tony Finau: 1/8
  • Ben Taylor: 14-1
  • Wyndham Clark: 50-1
  • Justin Rose: 55-1

Four strokes isn’t insurmountable, but the way Finau is playing right now doesn’t suggest any sort of collapse on Sunday. With Taylor unproven, this two-man fight has the potential to end early in the final round. Finau has put together a solid effort through three days ranking second in strokes gained on the green and third in strokes gained putting. He’s been my pick since the start of the week and that sentiment remains unchanged until the final day in Houston.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *