Chasing Pack Ready To Make A Move At Sheshan International
And so to moving day, the day when the players set out to put daylight between themselves and their nearest rivals – or come out of the pack and into contention.
After two days of play in tough conditions at Sheshan International, the leaderboard at WGC-HSBC Champions is topped by America’s Tony Finau, who leads Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and Patrick Reed by three strokes. On 11 under par, Finau is right to feel pleased with his play on the first two days. He is too experienced, however, to think his work is done. In truth, it is just about to begin.
On a day made for low scoring – the players have awoken to blue skies, sunshine and barely a breath of wind – there isn’t a player within eight or nine strokes of the lead who will consider himself out of contention. After all, if Rose could make up eight strokes on Dustin Johnson in the final round last year to claim victory, why not them?
It is that which makes the third round such a mouth-watering prospect. Will caution win the day, or all-out attack, as promised by Finau? Among 19 players within eight shots of the lead are former world No.1 Jason Day and Paul Casey, while Ian Poulter, a former winner of the event, is one shot closer. All three are capable of scoring low and will have taken note of the 64 scored by Belgium’s Thomas Pieters in the second round.
Much is expected of the leading pack, but all four of them know they have to build on their foundations. Can Finau extend his lead, or will he come back to the field? Only time will tell.