It's shaping up to be quite the final round Sunday at Detroit Golf Club.
As Tony Finau and Taylor Pendrith traded haymakers in Saturday's final pairing at the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic, World No. 4 Patrick Cantlay and Rookie of the Year favorite and Open Championship runner-up Cameron Young made big pushes behind them.
Young followed his course-record tying 63 on Friday with a 7-under 65 on Saturday, tying the best round of the day and sits in third at 17 under par.
Cantlay was 7-under through 13 holes, but went 1-over on his final five holes to card a 6-under 66 to get to 15-under, solo fifth.
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Stephan Jaeger, a German ranked No. 205 in the world, had his best round of the tournament, making eight birdies —including three in a row on Nos. 15, 16 and 17 — with one bogey to finish 7-under and slide into fourth at 16 under par.
But the focus will be on Finau — going for his second straight win — and Pendrith, an Ontario native looking for his first win on the PGA Tour. They'll be paired again in the final group Sunday afternoon, teeing at 2 p.m.
Finau's run continues
Finau's perfection continued — he has gone the entire tournament without making a bogey and has made just two bogeys in his past 125 holes dating back to his win at the 3M Open in Minnesota last weekend — finishing with a 65. (Joaquin Niemann did not make a bogey in 72 holes at last year's Rocket Mortgage Classic, but then made one on the 73rd hole in the three-man playoff.)
"I think it's a golf course that yields some birdies," Finau said. "You'll have some looks, but to not make any mistakes to this point is nice and I think that's the main reason I've kind of found myself on top of the leaderboard."
Pendrith picked up four birdies on his first eight holes, and gave two back on Nos. 9 and 13, before finishing with a flurry. He made three birdies in a row on Nos. 14-16 as well as the par-4 18th to record a 6-under 66 and tie Finau.
The two spent all day dueling.
Pendrith — who entered with a one shot lead at 15 under par —hit his approach on No. 1 inside seven feet and rolled in the birdie for the third time in as many rounds. Finau immediately responded.
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The first came on No. 2, when his approach from 132 yards out hung up in the rough just left of the front-left pin. No matter — he chipped in for birdie.
On No. 3, Finau put his approach inside 15 feet, staying below the hole. Pendrith, who outdrove Finau on the hole, put it to four feet.
But after Finau trickled in his birdie, Pendrith rolled his attempt over the right side of the cup and it didn't drop.
Pendrith responded after his tee shot on the par-5 fourth hit the cart path and landed in the rough adjacent to the sixth green. He soared a lay up over the trees on the left side of the fairway, stuck his approach to 16 feet and made the birdie.
Finau, who was in the go-zone after a 341-yard drive, left his approach from 277 yards short right and was unable to get up-and-down for birdie.
"It's almost like a match play situation where we kind of flipped the script there on each other in the beginning," Finau said of Nos. 3 and 4. "I think we both have done a great job up to this point through 54 holes of maintaining our composure and playing good golf."
Pendrith picked up a stroke on No. 6, Finau got one back on No. 7 and both birdied No. 8 to walk to the ninth tee at 4-under on the day. Pendrith three-putted for the first bogey between the two players, knotting them at 18-under total.
After Finau birdied No. 10 to take the lead, both held until the 13th, when Pendrith's tee shot hit a tree on the right side of the fairway, blocking his angle at the hole.
He punched out, but sent his third well past the hole and couldn't make the 23-footer on the way back, dropping his second stroke of the day.
"Just kind of hit a poor tee ball and maybe got a little bit of a bad break right behind the tree," he said. "I tried to hit it where I had the best chance to make a par, but made bogey, but that was okay."
Ranked 135th on Tour in driving accuracy this season, Finau finished the third round ranked second in the field.
He picked up his next stroke on the par-5 14th after his 314-yard drive found the fairway, he sailed his approach right of the green. From there, he opened his wedge face, flopped a shot down the hill that lipped out, before he made an 8-footer for birdie.
"I think that's a big reason I've been hitting so many greens," Finau said, after hitting 50 of 54 greens in regulation. "I'm just hitting a lot more fairways than I'm accustomed to or than I have in the past.
"This golf course really opens up to you if you hit it in the short grass, and it definitely has for me these first three rounds."
Pendrith's late charge
Pendrith made three straight birdies from Nos. 14-16, answering Finau by sticking his tee shot inside 10 feet on the short but difficult par-3 15th, then bombed a drive 340 yards on No. 16 and flighted a wedge hole-high to seven feet for another birdie.
"To get three in a row after that was a big momentum boost and obviously set myself up nicely for tomorrow with those three holes," he said.
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Finau two-putted from 60 feet to make birdie on the par-5 17th to maintain a one-shot advantage.
Pendrith and Finau both hit great drives and approaches inside 10 feet on No. 18 but only Pendrith made his putt for the last birdie of the day.
Finau, with three wins on the PGA Tour, will look for his first when leading after 54 holes — he's 0-for-5. Pendrith, who has two wins on PGA Tour Canada, is 0-for-1.
"I probably have more pressure just because I've never won before and Tony's a multiple winner and he won last week and he's playing great," Pendrith said. "I feel like my game's in a good spot, I'm driving it well, I'm hitting my wedges good, it's nice to see some putts go in.
"It will be a fun experience, and just looking forward to competing and see what happens."
Day 3 roundup
Many of the rest of the notables to make the cut had up-and-down performances.
Will Zalatoris shot his best round of the tournament at 3-under, but made three bogeys to take away from his tournament-best six birdie morning.
Max Homa had a good round that was close to being great.
He was four-under through four holes which included a pitch-in for eagle on No. 3. After making birdie on No. 7 and draining a 44-foot putt on No. 9 to pick up another stroke, he made the turn at 6-under — the best of any player on the front nine.
He stalled on the back, making four pars, bogeying the par-5 14th after putting his approach in the water, and made four more pars to close out his 5-under round.
Adam Scott had a disastrous afternoon.
He started the day in the top five and made a birdie on No. 7 to get to 10-under, then fell apart. He bogeyed Nos. 8 and 10, made double on 12 and then bogeyed 13, 14 and 15 to finish 6-over 78 — the worst round on the course.
Contact Tony Garcia at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter at @realtonygarcia.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Rocket Mortgage Classic 2022: Tony Finau, Taylor Pendrith set for duel