European Tour

Cabrera Bello scents end to long win drought

2016-12-10 12:38
Rafa Cabrera Bello (Getty Images)

Hong Kong - Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera Bello recovered from a late stumble to retain a share of the Hong Kong Open lead and move within sight of his first victory in four years on Saturday.

The Spaniard leads alongside Australia's Sam Brazel on 11-under-par 199 after surviving a double bogey on the par-four 14th by birdieing two of his last four holes for level-par 70.

England's Tommy Fleetwood fired three-under-par 67 to lie in sole second spot with an aggregate score of 201, one stroke better than America's David Lipsky who shot 66.

Cabrera Bello, a bright spot in Europe's Ryder Cup defeat in October, is bidding to join fellow Spaniards Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Manuel Lara as a Hong Kong winner.

"I had a tough day," said Cabrera Bello, who has topped the leaderboard after all three rounds following his 64 and 65 on Thursday and Friday at Fanling.

"I didn't find my rhythm so well, I didn't find the serenity I had played with the first couple of days, so I struggled with bogeys and birdies."

But the 32-year-old, who has been waiting for his third European Tour win since the 2012 Dubai Desert Classic, said he would be calm heading into the last day.

"I've been joint leader or leading by myself many times, looking for that third win," he said. "So it's a very common position for me. I'm just confident."

Brazel, the world No 480, shot 67 to become a challenger for what would be by far the biggest victory of his career. He said keeping his nerves in check would be key on Sunday.

Third-round scores from the Hong Kong Open on Saturday (par-70):

199 - Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP) 64-65-70, Sam Brazel (AUS) 66-66-67

201 - Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 66-68-67

202 - David Lipsky (USA) 66-70-66

203 - Justin Walters (RSA) 67-67-69, David Howell (ENG) 70-70-63, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 69-67-67

204 - Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 72-68-64, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 67-68-69, Lee Soo-Min (KOR) 72-68-64, Paul Dunne (IRL) 68-69-67, Jason Scrivener (AUS) 67-69-68, Daniel Im (USA) 69-67-68

205 - Stephen Gallacher (SCO) 69-70-66, Shiv Kapur (IND) 68-69-68, Peter Uihlein (USA) 66-70-69, Benjamin Hebert (FRA) 66-70-69, Danny Willett (ENG) 68-66-71

Selected:

209 - Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 69-68-72, Justin Rose (ENG) 70-69-70

210 - Patrick Reed (USA) 70-70-70

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