Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 1 April 2020

'Let them come at me': Wade Ormsby the man to catch at Hong Kong Open final

Australian Ormsby said he was in a 'pretty good position' after carding a four-under-par 66 in Saturday's third round to sit two shots ahead

Wade Ormsby of Australia carded a four-under-par 66 during Saturday's third round of Hong Kong Open at the Fanling Golf Club. AFP
Wade Ormsby of Australia carded a four-under-par 66 during Saturday's third round of Hong Kong Open at the Fanling Golf Club. AFP

Australia's Wade Ormsby declared himself the man to beat heading into the Hong Kong Open's final round, with headliners Shane Lowry and Tony Finau all but out of contention as they sit six shots off the pace.

Ormsby, a veteran of the historic Fanling course - where he won his first European Tour victory in 2017 - said he was in a "pretty good position" after carding a four-under-par 66 in Saturday's third round.

"Game's in good shape ... Let them come at me and if they do, they do."

In pursuit of Ormsby is Gunn Charoenkul, chasing a first win on the Asian Tour. The Thia shot six birdies to end two shots behind while countryman Jazz Janewattananond was four off the lead.

India's Rashid Khan, Terry Pilkadaris of Australia and South Korea's Taewoo Kim were also four back.

Lowry, playing at the Hong Kong Open for the first time in a decade, carded 68 - two shots off the previous day's score that had put him in real contention.

"I felt like I stayed very patient and then I didn't really get rewarded," he said. "All week it's been like that, I've played lovely golf and haven't really holed anything."

But at six points off the lead, the Irishman - who next will defend his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA title in the UAE next week - warned he was still in contention at Fanling.

"If I can manage to hole a few putts early on tomorrow and keep it going, you never know what could happen."

Finau was also six off the pace, shooting a tournament-best 65 but squandering a chance to close the gap on Ormsby after three birdie putts came up just short.

Finau's putts for birdies on the eighth, ninth and eighteenth came just short, and he will have to persevere and pull something out of the bag to lift himself into contention on Sunday.

But the world No 16 also promised to come out fighting on Sunday.

"I'm back in this thing. I'm going to have to shoot a number on this course but I kind of knew that was going to be the case. Nothing to lose," said the big-hitting American.

There was plenty of local support for 17-year-old amateur Alexander Yang who leads the Hong Kong contingent.

The soon-to-be Stanford student ended day three at five under. He will fly back to the US on Monday, where he is based, to get back to school.

Three other players from the city made the weekend cut - a record that has brought cheer to Hong Kong's sporting community after months of unrest saw several prominent events cancelled.

Organisers hope a successful staging of the Hong Kong Open will show that some normality is returning to the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, which has seen months of unrest and demonstrations.

The tournament - whose previous winners include Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose - was originally slated for November, but was postponed as the finance hub wrestled with the often-violent protests.

Updated: January 11, 2020 03:01 PM

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