European Tour

Rose, Bjerregaard lead in Hong Kong

2015-10-24 14:07
Justin Rose (AFP)

Hong Kong - Justin Rose was tied for the lead at the Hong Kong Open on Saturday despite a course-record equalling 63 by unheralded Dane Lucas Bjerregaard.

World number seven Rose was trailing by one stroke until the final hole when 285th-ranked Bjerregaard dropped his only shot to join Rose on an aggregate score of 15 under par.

Bjerregaard fired eight birdies, including four in a row from 10 to 13, for a score of seven under par 63, matching the Fanling course record.

Meanwhile, England's Rose fired two eagles including a 44-foot putt on the par 5 13th for a six under par 64.

"I really enjoyed playing with Lucas, it was the first time I played with him. I didn't know much about his game and was very impressed, we had a fun day out there, flip-flopping birdies," Rose told reporters.

"My round boiled down to two eagles really and a couple of par saves, I got into trouble a couple of times but was able to salvage good par."

However, it was a disappointing round for Rose's European Ryder Cup teammates Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, the latter of whom needs to win in Hong Kong if he wants to qualify for the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

After opening in third place, the Englishman, who had made a mad dash to Hong Kong to retain his European Tour membership and keep alive his hopes of playing in the Ryder Cup next year, finished with a three over par 73 for the round, dropping to joint 23rd in the tournament.

Former major winner McDowell, who had been hoping to salvage some pride and points after what he earlier said was a disappointing year, ended the day with a one over par 71, also in 23rd place overall.

"I just made too many mistakes," he told AFP.

"I'm disappointed to not shoot low today. I've just got to come out tomorrow and play aggressively. There's nothing to lose now you know, I need to shoot a low number tomorrow and see how far I can climb up the board."

Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Anirban Lahiri from India carded 65 for the round and with an aggregate total of 199 was 11 under par for the first three days - just four strokes behind leaders Rose and Bjerregaard.

Jeev Milkha Singh, the first Indian to compete on the European Tour but currently ranked 960th in the world, was tied with 21-year-old British star Matthew Fitzpatrick a shot further back.

"The course suits my eye and a lot of people said it would," said Fitzpatrick. "It's quite tight, you've got to think your way around."

In the two-horse race between Rose and Bjerrebaard, Rose admitted he was just trying to keep up with his ultra-solid Danish contender for much of the round.

"If he (Bjerregaard) comes out and plays the same way I've got to come out and play really well tomorrow," Rose said.

Bjerregaard said it would "mean a lot" to claim his first European Tour win in Hong Kong as he was eager to play at the BMW Masters in China and the Race to Dubai.

On his Saturday performance he said: "I've been playing well the last six or seven weeks so it's nice to see I can keep it going."

Leading scores after the third round of the Hong Kong Open at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling (par 70):

195 - Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN) 66-66-63, Justin Rose (ENG) 65-66-64

199 - Anirban Lahiri (IND) 67-67-65

200 - Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 67-67-66, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 65-70-65

201 - Yang Yong-eun (KOR) 68-66-67, Matt Ford (ENG) 69-65-67, Jason Scrivener (AUS) 68-68-65

202 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 69-66-67, Nathan Holman (AUS) 68-66-68, Patrick Reed (USA) 68-69-65, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 71-67-64

203 - Oliver Fisher (ENG) 66-69-68, Lin Wen-tang (TPE) 67-68-68

204 - Sam Brazel (AUS) 69-67-68, Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 64-69-71, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 66-70-68, Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 67-71-66

205 - Jason Knutzon (USA) 68-68-69, Simon Yates (SCO) 69-68-68, Soomin Lee (KOR) 70-69-66, Pan Cheng-tsung (TPE) 65-73-67

206 - Graeme McDowell (NIR) 66-69-71, Ian Poulter (ENG) 67-66-73, Marcus Fraser (AUS) (72-66-68), Masahiro Kawamura (JPN) 68-69-69, Chapchai Nirat (THA), 67-72-67, Angelo Que (PHI) 72-67-67, Peter Hanson (SWE) 69-70-67, Estanislao Goya (ARG) 73-66-67

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

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