Chawrasia continues to lead UBS Hong Kong Open
Hong Kong, November 25: India’s S.S.P Chawrasia will head into the final round of the UBS Hong Kong Open with a slender one-shot advantage after carding a third round one-under-par 69 at the Hong Kong Golf Club on Saturday.
Chawrasia, a six-time Asian Tour winner, is seeking his second win outside India and will be drawing confidence from his recent good form and positive mental approach to his game.
The Indian, who is sponsored by Take Solutions, has led from day one of the US$2 million event but is keeping close tabs on his nearest rivals as he goes in search of a wire-to-wire victory at the UBS Hong Kong Open, which is among one of the five events left on the 2017 Asian Tour season.
“I’m happy with the score today, although I definitely left a couple of shots out there. I felt a little extra pressure today which probably why missed a couple of putts but I will think I can do something special tomorrow. This course really suits my game but this is the first year that I have played well here and I am leading. I’m looking forward to tomorrow – I have played with Cabrera Bello many times and he is a nice guy. I’ll definitely have to shoot a low number to win because someone just behind me will definitely go low,” said Chawrasia.
Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello produced the day’s lowest score by mixing his card with six birdies, one eagle and two bogeys for a three-day total of nine-under-par 201 to sit in second place alongside Asian Tour member Wade Ormsby of Australia: “First day, I also played good. I just didn’t really get it going on the greens and I did get it going on the greens today. I managed to hole some good putts. Hopefully this will give me a chance for tomorrow. I think I’m going to be within reach, so I do believe that I can win it for sure. The wind has made it much tougher. Especially the first two days, it was very breezy. Today I think the wind has dropped down a little bit, stayed a bit more consistent. But the first and second round, they were very tough, very gusty and all over the place.”
Wade Ormsby had a solid day: “I made a few putts early to keep it going and played pretty solid through the middle there. Didn’t quite hit it close enough at the end but all in all a good day. Sometimes after four weeks, you can be a bit rusty. Had a bit of practise yesterday afternoon and got the ball striking more where I wanted it. Hit some better shots today. Yeah, I guess it resulted in a good score. I’ll just try and go and play my own game. This place is always more or less the same, same kind of score wins. Just got to keep yourself in the game and give yourself a chance. I won’t be changing what I’m doing.”
Europe’s number one Tommy Fleetwood, meanwhile, is looking to make the perfect start to the defence of the Race to Dubai crown he won in Dubai in this the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.
The Englishman carded a third round 66 to move into a tie for fourth place alongside the hugely talented duo of Belgium’s Thomas Detry (66) and Swede Alexander Björk (67) with American Paul Peterson a further shot back on seven under after his outstanding 65.
Olympic champion Justin Rose and Masters champion Sergio Garcia are five and six shots back but by no means out of contention, especially if they can hole a few more putts in the final round.
Thailand’s Poom Saksansin, who started the day tied for third, posted a 70 to slip to a share of 13th place with Justin Rose while Masters Tournament winner Sergio Garcia was a further shot back in equal 19th place after he signed for a 66.
“It should have been probably an easy 63. But you know, it’s what it is. I just haven’t felt comfortable all week for some reason, and still kind of dragging a little bit. But you know, we’re trying, I guess. I made some nice putts. Unfortunately I just missed a whole bunch coming in, good birdie opportunities. Hopefully I can do a little bit more of that tomorrow, play, hit some good shots and hopefully feel a little better with the putter and see if we can post a really good round,” said Garcia.
Did you know?
- S.S.P. Chawrasia’s best finish at the Hong Kong Open was in 2014 when he finished tied-fifth. He missed the cut last year.
- The UBS Hong Kong Open never had a wire-to-wire winner.
- Rafa Cabrera Bello finished second at the UBS Hong Kong Open last year. The Spaniard’s 64 ties his lowest ever round at the Hong Kong Golf Club where he shot a similar 64 during the first round of the UBS Hong Kong Open last year.
- Ormsby earned his 2012 Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School in Thailand. He had his first Asian Tour victory in India the following year.
- Poom is a two-time Asian Tour winner. He won his first title in Indonesia last year before injuring his back. He returned to his best form when he won the TAKE Solutions Masters in India in August.
- Earlier in his career, Poom played mostly on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) where he won once in 2015.
- Poom earned Asian Tour card by finishing tied 18th at Qualifying School on home soil in 2014.
- The 24-year-old also helped Thailand claim the team gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games in 2013.
Leading scores after round 3 of the UBS Hong Kong Open Championship 2017 being played at the par 70, 6710 Yards Hong Kong GC course (am – denotes amateur):
200 – S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 65-66-69.
201 – Rafa CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 69-68-64, Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 68-68-65.
202 – Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 68-68-66, Thomas DETRY (BEL) 67-69-66, Alexander BJORK (SWE) 69-66-67.
203 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 70-68-65.
204 – Chris HANSON (ENG) 71-66-67, Dylan FRITTELLI (RSA) 71-65-68, Marcus KINHULT (SWE) 67-69-68, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 67-69-68, Julian SURI (USA) 68-67-69.
205 – Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 68-71-66, Sean CROCKER (USA) 69-70-66, James MORRISON (ENG) 71-66-68, Justin ROSE (ENG) 68-69-68, Joakim LAGERGREN (SWE) 69-66-70, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 67-68-70.
206 – Clement SORDET (FRA) 71-71-64, Chris PAISLEY (ENG) 71-70-65, Sam BRAZEL (AUS) 69-71-66, Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 69-71-66, Matthew FITZPATRICK (ENG) 66-73-67, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 70-68-68, Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 66-71-69, Jamie DONALDSON (WAL) 67-69-70.
207 – Leon D’SOUZA (am, HKG) 72-70-65, Jinho CHOI (KOR) 69-72-66, Paul WARING (ENG) 71-68-68, Thomas AIKEN (RSA) 69-64-74.
208 – Paul DUNNE (IRL) 71-71-66, Ben LEONG (MAS) 70-71-67, Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 72-69-67, Pedro ORIOL (ESP) 72-68-68.
209 – Nino BERTASIO (ITA) 73-69-67, Ryan EVANS (ENG) 71-69-69, Robert KARLSSON (SWE) 72-68-69, Danny CHIA (MAS) 68-71-70, Rashid KHAN (IND) 71-68-70, Miguel Angel JIMENEZ (ESP) 70-69-70, LI Haotong (CHN) 68-69-72.