HK duo cling to hope

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 September, 2008, 12:00am

David Freeman and Derek Fung combined to produce a flawless eight-under-par 64 in the third round of the Fortis International Challenge to give Hong Kong an outside chance of qualifying for the Omega-Mission Hills World Cup in November.

The duo, who need to finish in the top three to earn a berth in the US$5.5 million tournament, lie in a share of sixth on eight-under-par, three shots adrift of Nigeria who occupy the crucial third spot. Barring final round meltdowns, the Philippines and Korea look assured of their places after ending the day on 15- and 14-under-par respectively.

'We ham-and-egged it very well,' said Freeman, whose birdie-birdie finish at the Kota Permai course gave the team a much-needed boost heading into today's tougher foursomes format. 'Our goal was to shoot 60, which we could have done as we left a few shots out there again. But we're hitting the ball great.'

The round was also highlighted by Fung's welcome return to form. Family commitments have meant the 39-year-old hasn't experienced much competitive golf of late, which was apparent during the duo's dispiriting 78 in Friday's foursomes. But four birdies and some important par saves have given him greater confidence in his game.

'I feel a lot more comfortable with my swing now,' he said. 'The key tomorrow will be to keep the momentum going ...we've got to make the putts.'

Freeman added: 'We've got nothing to lose, so we're going to go out and be really aggressive.'