Finau surges into lead at Stonebrae Classic

Hayward, CA ( - Tony Finau fired a third-round, 7-under 63 and he took a 1-shot lead after 54 holes at the Stonebrae Classic.

Beginning the day three shots behind leader Fabian Gomez, Finau finished the third round at 18-under 192. Despite a number of close calls earlier this year, Finau is still seeking his first win on the Tour.

"I had the same apporoach as I've had every tournament this year," Finau said. "Just have to do my routine, stretch, hit some balls. I didn't really think about results or anything. Just kind of play the golf course in the way that it's set up. Try to hit the best shots you can and execute shots."

Daniel Berger was tied for the low round of the day with a 62, and he jumped into a tie for second place at 17-under 193. He is joined there by Nicholas Lindheim (63) and Gomez, who could not go quite as low as he ended with a 67 at TPC Stonebrae.

Colt Knost is alone in fifth place at 16-under 194 following his third-round 64.

Zack Sucher, coming off his first career win at last week's Midwest Classic, also shot an 8-under 62 and he is tied for sixth at minus-15. Ashley Hall (65) and Blayne Barber (68) are also tied for sixth with Sucher.

Finau hung around all day, but he did not hold the lead until late in his round. He began Saturday with two straight pars before making his first birdie at the par-5 third hole.

Back-to-back birdies at six and seven had Finau at minus-3 for the day, but he gave one of those shots back when he tripped to a bogey at the par-5 ninth, putting him at 2-under as Finau made the turn.

After two straight pars at 10 and 11, Finau began to make his push. A birdie at 12 was followed by another par, but Finau then rattled off four straight birdies from No. 14, and all of a sudden he was 7-under for the day and minus-18 for the week.

A par at No. 18 rounded out Finau's day and just like that he took over the lead after 54 holes.

"We'll just see how much I've learned. I've been close to this position. I don't think I've held a 54-hole lead, but I've been around the lead quite a bit ... Hopefully there's a different outcome tomorrow than there's been in the past."

Gomez started his day on the right foot as well with back-to-back birdies at three and four. A bogey at No. 6 was quickly canceled out with a gain at No. 7, and the second-round leader made the turn at minus-2 for the day.

A bogey at No. 10 dropped Gomez another shot, and after three straight pars he tripped to another bogey at 14, putting him at even par.

Gomez finished his round off right, however, making birdies at 15, 17 and 18 to get to minus-3 for the day and 17-under for the week.

Berger made four birdies on both the front and back nine. He started his round with a gain at the first, followed by back-to-back birdies at three and four. Berger made the turn with a birdie at nine, and he made it three in a row with two more gains at 10 and 11.

Back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 helped Berger get to 8-under for the day, where he finished after pars at 17 and 18.

Lindheim had a very up-and-down day, which included 10 birdies and three bogeys. Birdies at two, three, five, six and nine to go along with one bogey at No. 8 had Lindheim at minus-4 for before making the turn.

He added birdies at 11, 14, 15, 16 and 18, but he also had bogeys at 13 and 17, putting Lindheim at 17-under through three rounds.

NOTES: Through 16 events this season, Finau has finished in the top five three times. He has also missed the cut four times, including at the Albertsons Boise Open two weeks ago, Finau's last event.