Catch me if you can says Ormsby ahead of Hong Kong Open final

3 min

Hong Kong (AFP)

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

The 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.

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

Thailand's Gunn Charoenkul, chasing a first win on the Asian Tour, 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 will next head to Abu Dhabi to defend his European Tour title -- 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."

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

But the world number 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."

- Local cheer -

Amateur 17-year-old Alexander Yang led the Hong Kong contingent, ending day three at five under par.

The soon-to-be Stanford student 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 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.