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Tony Finau has birdied the final hole for an eight-under 62 and a share of the Canadian Open lead with defending champion Rory McIlroy after the third round.
"I didn't finish the way I wanted to yesterday and I think all it did was kind of light a fire in my belly to get after it today," Finau said. "That's pretty much what I did. I made some birdies and I just played really clean golf. "
McIlroy had a 65 to match Finau at 11-under 199 in the PGA Tour event at St. George's Golf and Country Club in Toronto.
"I'm just happy to give myself a chance, be in the final group," McIlroy said. "Once I saw, I think Tony had got to 10 or maybe 11, I think I was on like 8 or 9 at the time. I just said to myself, 'Let's just try to get yourself in the final group.'"
PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas (63), Colonial winner Sam Burns (65), Wyndham Clark (68) and Alex Smalley (67) were tied third at nine under.
Australia's world No.4 Cameron Smith continued to improve after his first round 76, carding a 68 to be tied 41st at one under, one shot ahead of countrymen Brett Drewitt (69) and Cameron Percy (71).
McIlroy had to wait three years to defend his 2019 title because of the COVID-19 pandemic that canceled golf's fourth-oldest championship the last two years.
"I need to set myself a number and be super aggressive," McIlroy said. "I know I'm going to have to make some birdies out there to win this thing tomorrow."
Finau had the best round of the week, eagling the par-5 ninth in a front-nine 29 and making four birdies and a bogey on the final nine. He won the FedEx Cup playoff opener last season at Riviera for his second PGA Tour victory.
"I knew I was playing well, but at any given moment on this golf course you can make a number," Finau said. "So, there's no reason to get ahead of myself. I just tried to stay in the moment as much as I could and put together a nice round all the way to the end."
Nick Taylor was the top Canadian at five under after a 67.