HK and Singapore in Putra Cup showdown
Hong Kong and Singapore set up a final-round showdown in the Putra Cup after the pair distanced themselves from the rest of the field at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club yesterday.
Chasing their first win in the Southeast Asian team championship since the inaugural event in 1961, overnight leaders Hong Kong produced a gutsy third-day performance, with Liu Lok-tin leading the way with an eye-catching 67.
But it was not enough to maintain his team's one-stroke advantage, which was whisked away by a resurgent Singapore, who fired a best-of-the-week nine-under 201 to lead Hong Kong by two. Indonesia are placed third, a further nine shots adrift
'We're still right there,' said Hong Kong coach Brad Schadewitz, who praised his team's fight in windy conditions at the spectacular cliff-top layout. 'Singapore were very impressive, but we hung in there really well. Lok-tin was a rock and all the guys are fired up for tomorrow. Two shots is only a couple of putts. It's going to be a great and challenging day.'
Eighteen-year-old Liu, who claimed the Hong Kong Open Amateur Championship over the same course in 2010, mixed five birdies and two bogeys in his three-under-par effort, which was only surpassed by Singapore's Marc Ong, who cantered round in 66.
'I played much better today, but we're really confident as a team,' said long-hitting Liu. 'We know exactly what we've got to do and it's great to be in the position we're in. It should be an exciting final round.'
Jason Hak Shun-yat did not have the best of days. With teammates Terrence Ng and Shinichi Mizuno going round in 70 and 71 respectively, Hak's 73 was not counted among Hong Kong three best scores, but he continues to head the individual standings by a shot from Singapore's Choo Tsz-huang. Hak, 17, Hong Kong's standout junior since making the cut at the 2008 UBS Hong Kong Open, a European Tour event, is looking to become the first Hong Kong winner of the individual championship since Brooke Carter in 1976.