Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 28 September 2020

Abu Dhabi champion Shane Lowry prepares for title defence with final round 64 at Hong Kong Open

Irishman's efforts not enough to stop Wade Ormsby from winning the title for the second time in three years

Ireland's Shane Lowry tees off during the final round of the Hong Kong Open. AFP
Ireland's Shane Lowry tees off during the final round of the Hong Kong Open. AFP

Shane Lowry warmed up for his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA title defence with a dazzling 64 in the final round of the Hong Kong Open, although his Sunday surge was not enough to stop Wade Ormsby from clinching victory.

Ormsby carded four-under-par 66 for the third day in a row to complete a wire-to-wire win, finishing with 17-under 263 at Fanling for his third victory on the Asian Tour and his second in three years in Hong Kong.

Lowry, who won his first major title at the British Open at Royal Portrush in July, shot six-under on the final day but it wasn't enough as he ended four shots behind Ormsby.

The Irishman and US Ryder Cup player Tony Finau teed off together, both six shots behind Ormsby and needing to produce something special to chase down the 2017 champion.

Lowry looked in the mood from the start, chipping in superbly from the bunker to birdie the first, with Finau making a smart putt to do the same.

Ormsby started with a bogey but he rallied over the next eight, going out one better than Lowry and leaving the Irishman with serious work to do on the back nine.

A Lowry eagle on the 13th drew a huge roar from the crowd but he dropped a shot on the 16th to close at 13-under, leaving Ormsby with a three-shot cushion over the last three holes.

Ormsby birdied the 17th and calmly sunk a short putt at the finish, pumping his fist in the air and swigging a beer in front of a cheering gallery on the 18th green. Finau carded 67 to end seven off the pace after finding water for a double bogey on 18.

Wade Ormsby poses with Hong Kong Open trophy. AFP
Wade Ormsby poses with Hong Kong Open trophy. AFP

Lowry will next return to Abu Dhabi where last year he ended a title drought that had lasted more than three years. The European Tour event starts on Thursday.

Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond also started the final day as one of the challengers, but the 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner bogeyed twice on the back nine to end six shots back in fourth, one place behind compatriot Gunn Charoenkul.

The Hong Kong Open, whose previous winners include Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, was originally slated for November, but was postponed as the city was gripped by demonstrations.

Updated: January 12, 2020 01:57 PM

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