Sunday's play will decide the victor of the fourth and final major of the golfing season with the PGA Championship itself moving to a May date for the 2019 season.
While officials sounded the horn just after 3.30pm local time on Friday, Scott had fired a five-under-par 65 at Bellerive Country Club in Missouri hours earlier to earn a 36-hole score of five under.
Finau, who was doing an audition of sorts for a spot on the Ryder Cup team, being paired with Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, impressed the captain by starting out with seven birdies on the first eight holes, including the first five.
He came back with birdies at the next two holes before making a bogey at No. 9, meaning he didn't have a single par on the front nine.
Woods was among 10 players within four shots of Koepka, the two-time defending U.S. Open champion who is seeking his third major title in his past six outings.
Of course, any time Tiger is playing, he is going to dominate coverage (as he should), but this felt like we were just watching the two afternoon featured groups (Woods, McIlroy and Thomas, and Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Keegan Bradley) on PGA.com. The gym is his refuge, a place where he can go and get away from golf and expectations; just not the feeling that he's overlooked among the game's best.
Woods failed to convert on both, despite having given himself excellent chances.
Resuming his weather-delayed round on the 12th hole Saturday, the Lehi resident made two more birdies and two bogeys to finish.
He had a chance to revive the hysteria with a crack at eagle at the 17th, only to three-putt for yet another par.
"Now then a couple of years have slipped by and I haven't contended", Scott said. "The greens were getting fuzzy, they're getting slow, and I didn't hit the putts quite hard enough".
"I made sure on 17 I did".
"I can think of plenty of people along the way telling me I'll be nothing", he had said the other day, "working at McDonald's, doing things like that".
But it means a long day of 28 holes for the 42 year old on Saturday, the first time he will have played more than 18 holes in one day in this latest comeback.
"I'm exhausted. I am definitely exhausted", Woods said.
"It's not necessarily the physical, it's mentally grinding that hard for 29 holes in this heat, " he said. "It was a long day". But he missed 5-footers for par at the 10th and 12th holes surrounding a birdie at the 11th.
Then he began the third round with consecutive birdies and an already boisterous gallery at Bellerive became even more engaged. Although he said, and did, all the right things on a sweltering Saturday, moving to within four strokes with a 4-under 66, he's in a similar position to where he was starting the final round at last month's Open Championship. "Being in Tiger's group is always exciting". Players try to downplay it, and I've downplayed it over the years myself because you're trying to downplay it yourself a little bit, but it's a pretty intense environment out there.