HONG KONG—After 3 days of play, Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain and Sam Brazel of Australia are tied at the top of the leaderboard on 11 under par to start the final day.
Overnight leader Cabrera Bello found golf more difficult on Day 3 after carding 64 and 65 respectively in first two rounds, completing a roller coaster par round on Day 3. As he put it “my score had all colours of the rainbow in it”, he dropped a shot at the first, then picked up birdies at the 2nd, 3rd and 5th moving to -13, before dropping shots at the 6th, 7th and 9th to drop to -10, he then pulled a shot back on the 10th but had a double bogey at the par 4, 14th and recovered shots at the 15th and 17th to finish where he started at -11.
Sam Brazel of Australia also playing in the last flight but starting the day 3 shots off the pace, played a steady but progressively better round, dropping a shot at the first, then picking up shots at the 5th, 11th 13th and 16th to finish 3 under for the day, finishing on level terms with Cabrera Bello at -11. About his round, he said “I had a great day with Rafa out there today. He’s a really nice bloke and got a hell of a golf game. It will be interesting to see how it pans out tomorrow”.
Tommy Fleetwood of England, and David Lisky of USA carded -3 and -4 respectively to move up the leaderboard to start the final day in 3rd and 4th places at -8 and -7. Andrew Dodt of Australia also progressed to -7 with a 3 under round today. Justin Walters of South Africa dropped one shot is also on -7.
David Howell had the best round of the day equaling the course record with a 63, to move him from the bottom of the pack to equal 5th place, also tied at -7.
As might be expected, David Howell was happy with his day “Someone always makes a move on Saturday morning and it was glorious out there today and sure enough things went my way. I think luck was on my side today.
“Obviously played some pretty nice golf as well and delighted to finish with a birdie to make most of the round” he said.
Edoardo Molinari of Italy and Soomin Lee of Korea both carded -6 to finish on -6.
Thongchai Jaidee is still in the hunt on -6 together with another 5 players and believes he still has a chance, “You never know, you can shoot a low score tomorrow. You can shoot 10 under, 9 under, whatever tomorrow, giving me a chance for tomorrow; another day.
Danny Willett and Paul Peterson playing in the same flight, lost ground on the leaders recording +1 and +2 to drop to -5 and -4 respectively.
It should be another exciting day in store for the Sunday finale with the top 20 or so players still in with a chance. It really depends if the leaders can relax and play as they did in the early rounds.
Justin Rose’s fortunes did not improve on Day 3, carding a level par round to stay at -1 for the tournament. Miguel Angel Jimenez fared badly with a 2 over par round leaving him also at -1, but Jimenez has come through the field on previous occasions to surprise and excite the Hong Kong crowd.