Honma Hong Kong Open

As it happened: Hong Kong Open - Day Three

Follow the action from the US$2 million event from Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 December, 2016, 9:56am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 December, 2016, 6:34pm

Live Leaderboard

It’s Ryder Cup star versus the unknown journeyman at Hong Kong Open as Cabrera Bello and Brazel face off in final round

Watch: Roundup of Day Three at the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open


Sam Brazel: Was fun out there. Started a little nervous on the first but I guess that's the situation you're in. Felt the nerves a little bit at lunch time. Just sort of grounded out and it was fun out there. I've played really nice in the third round of Aussie PGA and that sort of sparked me on a little bit. So, yeah, it's nice to be putting it together on the back nine on a Saturday. So yeah, it's good fun."

Tommy Fleetwood: "I'd like to be a bit better but yeah, I think the way the course sets up, margins are so small, so yeah, I'm still going to have to go out there and play well and make some birdies probably. But I think, yeah, I think the margins are so small that anybody from five-under, six-under could win tomorrow."

David Lipsky: "It was really good. I took advantage of my opportunities today and hit the ball well. I hit the ball terrible yesterday, so it was nice to see some solid shots today. I got myself in position and got myself closer to the lead and that's all I can ask for. We'll see what happens tomorrow. I'll give it my all tomorrow, nothing to lose, really. I'm looking forward to it."


Looking at the draw for tomorrow, here are some highlights: 

08:05 Ian Poulter/Chinnarat Phadungsil

08:14 Patrick Reed/Gregory Bourdy

08:46 Terry Pilkadaris/Justin Rose

11:15 Danny Willett/Peter Uihlein

12:14 Andrew Dodt/David Howell

12:23 Tommy Fleetwood/David Lipsky

12:32 Rafa Cabrera Bello/Sam Brazel


Let's hear more from Rafa Cabrera Bello, who is seeking a first win since 2012 Dubai Desert Classic. 



Rafa Cabrera Bello says he is "relativly satisfied" with his third round 70 today. 

Sam Brazel says he will be taking tomorrow "one shot at a time."


Longer chance first for Rafa and he is just off target. Tap in Par and a 70 to stay at -11. 

Brazel with the chance to claim the outright clubhouse lead from 10 feet and he also fails to find the bottom of the cup. Taps in for a 67 and these two will be reunited in the final pair tomorrow afternoon with a two shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood. 



Both players all smiles as they head down the final fairway. Cabrera Bello's has returned following a difficult day for the Spainiard. 

Both are on the green and have birdie chances to extend the two shot lead they currently share over the field. 


Irons off the tee at the last for Cabrera Bello and Brazel and they are both on the fairway. 

Sam Brazel is currently ranked 480th in the world, Rafa Cabrera Bello is ranked 33rd. 

Danny Willett is on the final green and misses a difficult par putt from 10 feet and a bogey means it's a 71 and back to -5 overall. 


Putt drops for Cabrera Bello and it's for a birdie at 17. Rafa is back to -11. Playing partner Brazl saves par and it's a two-way tie at the top with the final group heading to the 18th tee. 

Fleetwood can't make his putt at the last to drop a shot for a 67 and a -9 total. 


Seems like Thongchai Jaidee is in the clear from European Tour rules official John Paramor. That 69 leaves him tied for 8th at -6 overall. 

Fleetwood is off the green at the last and leaves the chip well short. Danny Willett send his final drive left off the tee at the 18th and into the rough. 


Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee bogeys the last for a 69, but rules officials are checking his second shot into the final green. Suggestion his ball may have moved as he addressed it. 


Cabrera Bello claims a par at the 16th, but Brazel knocks in a birdie to claim the lead by one. Fleetwood is playing the last. 



Rafa's back. Cabrera Bello birdies the 15th and it's now a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard at -10 and a two shot lead. It is anyone's guess who will be leading in about an hour ...


UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup on track to set fundraising record 

The UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup today announced it expects to set a new fundraising record for the tournament played on the championship course at the Hong Kong Golf Club on Wednesday.

Last year's HK$2.3 million fundraising total represented the highest single-event fundraising event on the European Tour season. 

This year's tournament is set to break that record as the event partners place community support at the heart of the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open.

This year’s Charity Cup is on track to break last year’s fundraising total following the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup Dinner held on the golf course at the Hong Kong Golf Club's Deep Water Bay clubhouse on Tuesday.

The HK$500,000 raised at the dinner will be matched by Friends of Asia Hong Kong, the official charity of the UBS Hong Kong Open and an organising partner of the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup.

The early total grew by H$180,000 at last night’s finale of the UBS Hong Kong Open’s HK18 Putting Challenge at The Hong Kong Observation Wheel in Central boosted by a donation of HK$90,000 from the Hong Kong Golf Club matched by Friends of Asia. 

The Hong Kong Golf Club will once again maintain the Championship Course layout used by the professional players during the UBS Hong Kong Open for the Charity Cup.  


Cabrera Bello two putts for a double bogey six and he drops to third. Fleetwood and Brazel lead by one at -10. 


Ok, maybe a small crisis. Cabrera Bello finds the rough again at the 14th and hits a tree with his second shot and the ball goes backwards. He eventually gets on the green in four after chipping out of a bunker. At least one shot going here. 


Andrew Dodt signs for a 67 after dropping a shot at the last to leave him -7 overall tied for sixth alongside David Howell and Thongchai Jaidee (-2 after 16). 


Crisis, what crisis? Rafa makes part having just missed a birdie putt from 20 feet. 

Playing partner Brazel does make his and it's a third birdie of the day for a share of second place with Fleetwood one back. 


It is slowly starting to come apart for Cabrera Bello as he lands his second shot at the 13th into the galleries to the right of the fairway. Remember his lead is down to one. 

American David Lipsky is back home after a 66 and is currently tied for fourth. 


It's is also all happening for Danny Willett, but that means back-to-back bogeys for the Masters champion. Back to level par for the day at -6 overall with six holes to play. 


It's all happening out there. Tommy Fleetwood eagles the 13th and knocks Brazel down to third as he moves to -4 for the day and one behind Cabrera Bello in second. 



Sam Brazel takes over sole possesison of second place with a birdie at 10 to get him to -1 for the day and -9 overall. That trims Rafa's lead to two shots. 


Andrew Dodt was runner-up last week on home soil at the Australian PGA Championship having led after the first three rounds and is continuing that form here. -4 with four to play and Dodt is tied second at eight-under. 



Danny Willett is here to play. The Masters champion is going along nicley at -2 after 10. 

But Rafa responds and after missing the green at the par four 10th off the tee, makes the up and down to get himself back to even for the day and three clear of Lipsky, Fleetwood, Willett, Brazel and now Andrew Dodt. The Australian is -4 with three holes to play. 


Justin Rose has conceded he has left himself too much to do to retain his title after today's 70 left him at -1 overall and tied for 48th. 

Justin Rose finally fighting fit at Hong Kong Open – but too late to retain his title

And with his charge back in the hutch, Rose's caddy is enjoying a stunning day at Fanling. 



Rafa has decided to keep us all interested and ships another to reach the turn in +1 and the lead is down to two from messers Fleetwood and Brazel. 


Cabrera Bello is back to level for the day after another bogey. He steadies the ship with a par at the eighth. Tommy Fleetwood (-2 after nine) and Sam Brazel (level after eight) still tied for second at -8 overall. 

David Howell's earlier heroics have him tied for fourth with Danny Willett (-1 after eight), David Lipsky (-3 after 13) and Justin Walters (-1 after nine). 


Rafa finds sand off the tee at the sixth and has to settle for a second bogey of the day. Just the one par in six holes so far. The lead is back to four from Tommy Fleetwood and Sam Brazel. 

In other news, seriously Ian, let it go ... you bave played 18 holes since. 



Some facts to consider. There has never been a wire-to-wire winner of the Hong Kong Open. And the biggest final round comeback by a winner is four shots. 


There is an answer. Close range conversion on five and it's a five shot lead from Justin Walters (-2 after six), Tommy Fleetwood (-2 after six) and Sam Brazel (level after five). 

Defending champion Justin Rose in back in the clubhouse after a 70 to remain at -1 and down in a share for 48th place. Given the scores today, you get the feeling he is taking it easy on his back. 


Easy does it for Rafa. Par at the fourth. Does he go for it today, or will he be happy to play it safe? Four shots can vanish in one hole just ask Ian Poulter, but he will not want to do anything silly. 


Rafa Cabrera Bello adds a second gain of the day. It's still a four shot lead as Tommy Fleetwood claims a second birdie in five holes. 


Masters champion Danny Willett claims a first gain of the day at the third. He is up to -7.



News of his demise is short lived. Rafa rolls one in at the second and after all that it's a four shot lead. 


He is human. Rafa Cabrera Bello bogeys the first. But also does playing partner Sam Brazel meaning his three shot lead remains intact with David Howell (63), David Lipsky (-3 after eight) and Jason Scrivener (-3 after six) tied for second as it stands. 


Moving day: David Howell equals course record to shoot up 46 places at Hong Kong Open

Watch: Danny Willett's opening drive

Watch: Rafa Cabrera Bello's opening tee shot



The leading groups are on the course. Danny Willett seemed happy with his opening drive, not so much for Paul Peterson. Sam Brazel seemed happy enough, little shrug of the shoulders from Rafa Cabrera Bello. Red still the colour of the day. 

David Lipsky -3 after six, Jason Scrivener -3 after five. 


Clubhouse leader Rafa Cabrera Bello is off at 1pm with Sam Brazel and the Spainiard has been out on the driving range. 



Defending champion Justin Rose -1 today to move to -2 overall. 


With the event marking the end of the 2016 Asian Tour season, there are some names to keep an eye out for. 

Life on the bubble a nervous time for Asian Tour regulars at HK Open

Australia's Scott Hend will be named order of merit winner. Compatriot Marcus Fraser needs to win here and Hend finish lower tha 13th. Fraser signed for a two-under third round to sit tied for 38th at -2 overall having just made the weekend. Hend is -1 after four to move to -4 overall. 


Reminder, the leaders are off at 1pm. Rafa Cabrera Bello is three clear of playing partner Sam Brazel. Paul Peterson and Masters champion Danny Willett get under way at 12:51, with Justin Walters and Tommy Fleetwood at 12:42. All off the first tee. 

Metronomic Rafa Cabrera Bello takes three-shot lead going into weekend at Hong Kong Open

Plenty of red still out there. Miguel Angel Jimenez is -2 for the day after five. Might be too much to do for the four-time winner to claim a record-breaking fifth title at Fanling, but he is still drawing a crowd. Must ask him how many cigars he gets through during a round. 


David Howell (70-70-63): "I just snuck through to make the cut yesterday and battled well, birdied two of the last four five holes to make it through and that's always the first thing in professional golf, you've got to be here for the weekend. Someone always makes a move on Saturday morning and it was glorious out there today and sure enough things went my way. I think luck was on my side today. Obviously played some pretty nice golf as well and delighted to finish with a birdie to make most of the round.

"The 10th. They shoved the tee forward today. It's about 275 yards. Just gave it a rip and came up to about 12 feet once again the putt went in to make the most of the gamble off the tee. So things were really going my way. I had holed a bunker shot on nine, as well, and around that turn was a really pivotal stage. I hit it to three feet on seven and three-putted. Then you fear, is the round going to go the wrong way for you. But holed a lovely putt on eight, a bunker shot on nine and eagle on 10, and really, things were rolling for me.

"There's a lot of golf to be played today obviously. I'm going to be way off the lead. But I've given myself a nice chance at a top-10, top-5 finish if I play equally well tomorrow."


Howell's playing partner Arjun Atwal is in with a round of -4 to move up to a tie for 15th, with Lee Soo-min putting his name to a 64 for a tie for fourth as we stand. Howell is the clubhouse leader at -7 overall, with Lee at -6. 

Watch: David Howell equal the course record



David Howell takes what seems like an age on the 18th green, but in it goes from four feet from pin high after a superb approach and it's an equal course record for the Englishman. A -7 third round lifts him from the bottom of the leaderboard up to third, although as he just said: "there is a lot of golf to be played today."

Seven birdies including a chip in from a bunker and an eagle at the 10th after driving the green with the tee up for Howell, with two bogeys in ideal scoring conditions, although you still need to knock them in. 


Par for David Howell. Two holes left for the Englishman who is -6 for the day. 

Patrick Reed signs for a level par 70, with player partner Ian Poulter in after a 71. Wonder what the excuse will be today for the double bogey at 11 or the two bogeys to start. All eyes on Twitter ...



Justin Rose is -1 today through eight. Two early birdies for the defending champion but hands one back at the sixth. Two-under overall for the Olympic gold medallist. 


Hold the front page. Bogey for David Howell at 15 back to -6. Playing partner Arjun Atwal -5, with Stephen Gallacher -4 after eight. But seems like a good course set up today in ideal scoring conditions. 

Heading to the course today? Watching at home? Share your comments with us. Who will win? Can Rafa be stopped?


Patrick Reed is level after 16 holes of his third round to remain at the mark overall, with playing partner Ian Poulter +1. Decent gallery following the early starters. 


Masters champion Danny Willett made his move yesterday with a four-under 66 and starts the day five back of clubhouse leader Rafa Cabrera Bello. Hear what he had to say before the tournament ...



David Howell is flying. -7 after 13 with another birdie. Current composiyte course record is -7 from Chris Wood in 2012 and Lucas Bjerregaard in 2015. 


David Howell hasn't won since the 2013 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and this year on the European Tour claimed a best of a tied for third place finish at the Czech Masters from his 22 events, with his biggest cheque coming courtesy of a tied for 22nd place at The Open. 

China's Liang Wenchong is also enjoying his day and is -3 through 13. 


Saturday is moving day and David Howell is certainly doing that. The Englishman is up to third having started the day down in tied for 49th on the leaderboard after playing his first 12 holes in -6.

And if you need something to get you in the golfing mood today ...

With even the Asian Tour wary of expanding in China, golf looks like missing out on country’s sporting boom

Scott Hend all but certain to end season as Asian Tour’s Order of Merit champion



Six of the star players of the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open took time out yesterday evening to participate in a charity fundraising putting contest at the Central Harbourfront.

The public event saw UBS Hong Kong Open defending champion and Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose, supported by current tournament leader Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, go up against Patrick Reed, Danny Willett of England and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand in an epic 18 metre putting contest.

The competition saw the two teams putt simultaneously from two ends of a purpose-built putting strip, in an effort to putt as many balls as possible in a five-minute time-trial, with HK$10,000 donated to the tournament’s official charities by the Hong Kong Golf Club and Friends of Asia for each successful putt.

A total of HK$180,000 was raised, with Cabrera Bello receiving the accolade of Most Valuable Player for his four successful putts. The money raised will be shared among the tournament’s four nominated charities, the Autism Partnership Foundation; InspiringHK Sports Foundation (IHKSF); Playright Children’s Play Association; and The Hub Hong Kong.

The initiative brought to a close the tournament’s new HK18 community initiative which has taken the excitement of the UBS Hong Kong Open on an 18-day roadshow, visiting each of Hong Kong’s 18 districts. The interactive golf experience has seen some 1,350 members of the public test their skills on a purpose built course, with over 20,000 spectators enjoying the fun. 


On the course, which looks stunning again today, David Howell (who beat Tiger Woods in 2006 to win the inaugural HSBC Champions event) is charging up the leaderboard at -5 through 10 with an eagle at the 10th to help his cause. He is still six adrift of Cabrera Bello. Playing partner Arjun Atwal is -4 with a birdie at the 10th. They must be enjoying themselves. Might be a group to catch up with if you are heading to Fanling this morning. 

Hong Kong Golf Club always looks good, but club captain Kenneth Lam told me earlier in the week they had closed the course for a week before for the first time and it shows. 


Sorry to say no Hong Kong representation over the weekend ...


Ian Poulter and Patrick Reed are level par after 11 holes of their third rounds. Mr Poulter was going well yesterday until a quadruple bogey eight ruined his hard work. He didn't speak to the media after his round, but has been involved in some rather amusing Twitter exchange since ...



Let's refresh our memories of the state of play ahead of today's third round - Metronomic Rafa Cabrera Bello takes three-shot lead going into weekend at Hong Kong Open

Good morning and welcome back to Hong Kong Golf Club for the third round of this year’s US$2 million UBS Hong Kong Open.

Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello leads by three shots from Australia’s Sam Brazel with the pair the last group out at 1pm.

American Patrick Reed and Ian Poulter (hopefully he has calmed down after yesterday’s childish outbursts) were the first group out at 12 minutes before 8am.

A total of 64 players made the weekend and India’s Arjun Atwal has made the best start of the day with three birdies in eight holes taking him to -3 for the tournament.