European Tour

Manley leads in Hong Kong

2013-12-07 13:00
Stuart Manley (AFP)

Hong Kong - Unheralded Stuart Manley will take a one-shot lead going into the final round of the $1.3 million Hong Kong Open after carding a four-under-par 66 on Saturday.

The Welshman, ranked a lowly 275th in the world, is bidding for the biggest victory of his career but a host of players looking to snatch the title for themselves are hot on his heels.

Manley lies on ten-under-par at the Hong Kong Golf Club after adding to two earlier rounds of 67 while there's a two-way tie for second with India's Shiv Kapur and Wade Ormsby of Australia on nine under.

Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, chasing a record-equalling fourth title in the southern Chinese city, is one of three players a shot further back.

The Spanish veteran is tied with fellow countryman and 2006 winner Jose Manuel Lara and England's Steve Webster to set up what should be an enthralling final day of action at Fanling.

Manley struck the ball beautifully for a third consecutive round at the co-sanctioned European Tour and Asian Tour event and said he was confident going into Sunday's climax.

"I wanted to be leading after three rounds so I'm delighted," he said afterwards.

"I don't have much experience of leading tournaments to be honest. I think I'll feel a few nerves early on but if I'm committed to the golf shot I'll be fine. I'll just enjoy it."

Manley -- a one-time winner on the Challenge Tour -- was red hot with his putter Saturday, securing six birdies and was unlucky not to shoot an even lower score.

On the eighth hole he came agonisingly close to a hole-in-one while on the 16th a perfectly hit iron, which was heading straight for the pin, landed on a sprinkler head and bounced to the back of the green.

From there Manley three putted for a bogey, adding to an earlier dropped shot on the 6th, but he put it behind him immediately with a birdie on 17 to sit on a total score of 200.

Kapur signed for a second consecutive 66 in a flawless round made up of four birdies and 14 pars while Ormsby recorded seven birdies and three bogeys for the same score.

"I made a lot of birdies out there, my game feels good," the Australian Ormsby said.

"It's nice to be up near the front there and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Jimenez, 49, had one blip in what was otherwise a magnificent third round of 65.

The winner of 19 European Tour titles enjoyed seven birdies and was cruising until he came unstuck on the 15th, leaving the green with a costly double-bogey six.

"I'm just a couple back from the leaders. I hope to win the tournament," Jimenez, who was victorious in 2004, 2007 and 2012, said.

If he does triumph he will match Hsieh Yung-yo's four wins in the 1960s and 1970s.

Elsewhere, overnight leader Jbe Kruger had a day to forget, shooting a 73 to slide to tied 21st place.

Finland's Roope Kakko got the biggest cheer of the day when he holed his tee shot on the par-three second.

Leading scores after the third round of the $1.3 million Hong Kong Open on Saturday at the Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling (par 70).

200 - Stuart Manley (WAL) 67-67-66

201 - Shiv Kapur (IND) 69-66-66, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 67-68-66

202 - Steve Webster (ENG) 71-66-65, Jose Manuel Lara (ESP) 69-68-65, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 70-67-65

203 - Joel Sjoholm (SWE) 68-70-65, Prom Meesawat (THA) 66-70-67, Alex Cejka (GER) 68-67-68,

204 - Jaakko Makitalo (FIN) 67-71-66, David Lipsky (USA) 69-68-67, Unho Park (AUS) 71-66-67, Robert-Jan Derksen (NED) 69-67-68, Angelo Que (PHI) 69-67-68

205 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 72-67-66, Anirban Lahiri (IND) 68-70-67, Oliver Fisher (ENG) 68-70-67, Richard Finch (ENG) 70-67-68, Andrea Pavan (ITA) 65-72-68, Daisuke Kataoka (JPN) 68-68-69

Selected others:

209 - Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 72-69-68

210 - Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 69-71-70

Read more on:    european tour  |  hong kong open  |  golf
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