It’s a family affair as Jason Hak storms back into contention with a 64 at the Clearwater Bay Open
Advice from his dad helps the 23-year-old draw within five shots of the leading pack of three
With his dad watching on, Hong Kong number one Jason Hak Shun-yat stormed back into contention at the Clearwater Bay Open with a third-round six-under-par 64.
Just as he was when his son shot a 63 in the final round here last year, Hak’s father Ching-lun was there every step of the way as the 23-year-old worked backed to one over for the tournament and five shots off the lead.
“I like to have my dad here, he’s been watching me since I’ve played so he knows me,” Hak said. “He came last year on the final round when I shot seven under. My mum and my uncle are also here.”
After scores of 75 and 72 across the opening two days, Hak was relieved to hit his straps on home soil and credits his dad for helping him get his swing back on track.
“My swing has actually got better every day and I talked to my dad a little bit about what he saw from a spectator’s standpoint,” Hak said. “We worked on it a little bit and it finally came together.”
Hak sits in a tie for 12th, with Australia’s James Marchesani, England’s Callum Tarren and Kim Tae-woo of South Korea leading the pack into the final day, and he is relaxed about his chances of going all the way.
“It’s definitely a little bit of pressure off because I know what I can do now,” he said. “Mentally I just want to have myself calm, not try too hard. I know I can hit it well, I need to just let it come, no need to force too much.
“I’m pretty happy and I’m just looking forward to tomorrow, I could definitely always get better every day but I’m still pretty happy with it.”
An eagle on the fifth, when he put his 200-yard approach shot within three feet, was the highlight of a round that featured only one bogey.
A birdie on his final hole ensured Hak entered the clubhouse full of momentum.
“I definitely hit it a lot better. When I know I can hit it well I don’t get as frustrated and I know I can give myself chances,” he said. “That’s what I did today, I gave myself enough chances and made enough putts.”
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After entering the day with a share of the lead, Marchesani shot one under to remain at the top, while Kim carded a three-under-par 67 with three birdies.
Tarren’s 68 was enough to place him in the final group and the 26-year-old is hopeful he is on the cusp of his breakthrough win.
“I haven’t won on the China Tour yet, I’ve had four seconds, a third and a bunch of top 10s, but just haven’t won yet, he said.
“Hopefully we can have one soon. But I’m not going to try too hard, I’m just going to see what happens tomorrow because there is a long way to go.
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“That golf course out there, you have got to hit good shots, simple as that, and if you don’t you will fall off that leaderboard pretty quick.”
Before play even started on day three, amateur star Jin Cheng, of China, pulled out with a rib injury.