Bunched-Up at the Top
New European card-holder Stuart Manley of Wales carded a four under par 66 in Round-3 of the Hong Kong Golf Open at Fanling Course on Saturday Dec 6 to head a congested leader board after three beautiful days for golf.
Close on his heels just one shot back are Shiv Kapur of India and Wade Ormsby of Australia, and Spaniards, Jose Manuel Lara, defending Champion Miguel Jimenez together Steve Webster of England are on -8. All three of the players at -8 carded 65 to move them up the leader board.
But with fifteen players all within four shots of the lead, steady hands and a strong nerve will be needed to clinch the title. Champion Jimenez sitting just two shots off the lead and scoring a five under par 65 on Day-3 must be a real threat and a little unnerving for new boy Manley as the defending champion is well known for his nerves of steel with the capability to hunt down leaders.
With glorious sunshine and little wind few contestants got into trouble in the third round firing drives straight down the fairways and good approach shots into the Greens. The odd falter at the water on the 10th and 18th greens gave one or two of the contestants trouble but low scores were still hard to achieve.
On the final day, conditions may not be quite as favorable as on the first three days with light cloud and a freshening wind may make it more difficult to keep the ball on the fairways and with only two par fives on the course birdies may be hard to come by.
The overnight leader after Round-2, Jbe Krugar of South Africa had a difficult day and could not maintain his momentum carding a 73 dropping him down to -4 and six shots off the lead.