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Honma Hong Kong Open

Hong Kong Open: Sergio Garcia delights with shot of the day in six-under 64 Fanling masterclass

  • The Spaniard sparkles in his best ever round in the tournament but still has a mountain to climb on Sunday
  • He trails leader Aaron Rai by eight strokes, while Tommy Fleetwood is six shots off the pace
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 November, 2018, 6:23pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 November, 2018, 9:39pm

He had the best round of the day and hit the best shot of the day at the Honma Hong Kong Open on Saturday but still Sergio Garcia says he will be relying on a “hot streak” to even come close to winning at Fanling.

The Spaniard was at his fluid best during an impressive six-under-par 64 that included an eagle on the 10th hole where he drove the green and rolled in a putt from six feet.

But he’s still seven shots off leader Aaron Rai and knows everything must go right for him to be in the hunt for silverware on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a long way back, I’m realistic. Yeah I can go out there and shoot eight or nine under but that still means the leader has to play badly and everyone has to play badly so it’s not that easy,” he said.

“The only thing I can do is go out there tomorrow, play as well as I can play and hopefully get on a hot streak and put on a good round. If we win, great, but if we end up having a great week it’s also positive.”

It was Garcia’s best round at the Hong Kong Golf Club, two shots better than the 66 he shot in the third round of his debut Open last year, and featured five birdies to go with his sublime eagle.

Garcia sprung out of the gates with a string of early birdies and was on his game throughout, bogeying only the sixth and going within a whisker of another birdie on 17.

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“It was a nice round. Obviously I got off to a great start with three birdies in a row there, on two, three and four,” he said.

“I gave myself a lot of chances, I felt like I played well. I felt like I made a couple nice par putts when I had to and rolled in a couple nice birdie putts towards the end.”

Garcia’s laser-like three wood from the tee on the 10th hole left the gallery in awe and there was warm applause when he nailed the eagle putt.

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“I knew that it was a really nice yardage for a solid three wood. I knew I had to hit it really well, and fortunately for me that’s what I did,” he said.

“I hit a great, just a tiny baby fade – I think it was like 284 [yards] to the hole, something like that. It was like 265 to carry the water.”

Another of the big guns in Tommy Fleetwood also turned heads on Saturday, posting a four-under-par 66 to move into a tie for second with fellow Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick at 10 under.

“I did a lot of good stuff, and some not so good. The wind completely died for the last few, so, I would have liked to have hit it a little closer,” he said. “I got off to a bogey on one, and bogey-free from there and pretty flawless. Not an exceptional round, but another good, solid round on a tricky course.”

And his chances of catching his countryman in the lead? “I’m doing enough good things. I’m two

putts short of being well in there, well I’m still well in there, but there’s a low one out there if I can play well.”