Fraser aiming to turn up the heat on Noh
Australian Marcus Fraser had a few things to think about when he left the Hong Kong Golf Club last night.
There was the 67 that put him within range of third-round leader Ian Poulter at 12 under and seven strokes behind on a course that had players believing anything could happen today. And there was the fact the man he is fighting for this year's Asian Tour Order of Merit title - South Korean teen sensation Noh Seung-yul - was a further seven strokes behind after also returning 67 for the day.
Noh led Fraser (pictured) US$801,986 to US$558,766 as they arrived in Hong Kong, so any gains made by the Australian will be crucial, given that there are just four more events left on the Asian Tour schedule - and given the fact the South Korean had said he was soon to undergo laser eye surgery, which would mean packing his clubs away for the rest of this year.
Win today and Fraser would pocket a cool US$416,660. But he was playing down his chances, given the scores being recorded by those ahead of him - and the promise of more birdie-making today.
'I think there's too much ground to make up,' said the 32-year-old, whose season highlight was a win at the Ballatine's Championship in Korea in April. 'I'm just going to go out there and try to shoot as low a score as I can and count them all up at the end of the day.'
But the Australian remained confident his game was coming together at the right time, regardless.
'Towards the end of the round, I felt like I played really well and had a couple of big lip-outs on 16 and 17, which is a bit frustrating' he said.
'But overall, you know, it was a good day. I felt like I started to play really well again on the back nine.'
For his part, Noh said he had left the course content he had turned around some problems that had cursed his putting in the past few weeks.
'The putting can feel nice sometimes and I don't normally miss two-foot putts,' he said. 'But this week and last week in Singapore, I missed a few. My address has been a bit different. I can't tell you what it is as it's a secret, but if I do it right, it feels better.'
And he was also not backward in hoping he can peg back the leaders - Fraser included.
'There's no pressure at all,' said the 19-year-old. 'I don't feel it. I feel like I can have a low round. I think I've fixed the putting. Tomorrow, I think I can shoot five or six under.'