HONG KONG: Jose Manuel Lara of Spain shot a third round 66 to open a two-shot lead over the Hong Kong Open field after ending the day on 14-under-par 196 on Saturday.
Vying for a maiden European tour victory, Lara showed more of the solid form that has kept him at the top of the leaderboard for the first three days of the $2 million co-sanctioned European and Asian Tour event being played at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
"At the moment I feel comfortable, I'm playing well, I'm hitting the ball well, the putts are working," said Lara, who has dropped just one shot in 54 holes this week.
Final day nerves
The Spaniard, however, did admit to feeling nervous going into the final day in the lead but shrugged off any thoughts of being under pressure.
Lara's closest challenger is Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines, who climbed up the leaderboard with a stunning back nine that included five birdies after suffering a double-bogey on the ninth. Frenchman Gregory Bourdy, fired an erratic one-under 69 to stand four shots off the pace at 10 under.Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee were in joint fourth place. India's Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa were among six players poised a shot back at eight under. Battling against a strong wind and a troublesome wrist, Jeev Milkha Singh kept himself in contention for an impressive finish. Jeev is well-placed for a finish that could help him seal the UBS Asian Tour Order of Merit this week.
Gaurav Ghei (69) was tied 46th and Rahil Gangjee (71) was 55th. Daniel Chopra with one bogey on the starting hole carded a three-under 67 and moved to tied 27th, up from overnight 43rd.
The scores: Jose Manuel Lara (Esp) 196; Juvic Pagunsan (Phi) 198; Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 200; Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 201; Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Jean Van de Velde (Fra), Simon Khan (Eng), Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind), Zhang Lian-wei (Chn), Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 202; Alejandro Canizares (Esp), Mark Pilkington (Wal) 203; Matthew Millar (Aus), Francesco Molinari (Ita), Christian Cevaer (Fra), Angelo Que (Phi), Andrew Buckle (Aus) 204 Agencies