Sport Golf

Thursday 20 October 2016

Justin Rose and Lucas Bjerregaard set up final day showdown at the Hong Kong Open

Phil Casey

Published 24/10/2015 | 10:38

Justin Rose in action during the Hong Kong Open
Justin Rose in action during the Hong Kong Open

World number seven Justin Rose and Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard share the lead heading into the final day of the Hong Kong Open after staging a thrilling third-round duel in Fanling.

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Rose began the day with a one-shot lead and carded two eagles and two birdies in a flawless 64, but saw playing partner Bjerregaard go one better with a 63 marred only by a bogey on the 18th.

That left the pair on 15 under par at Hong Kong Golf Club and four shots clear of Anirban Lahiri, with fellow Indian Jeev Milkha Singh and England's Matt Fitzpatrick a shot further back.

Ian Poulter, who made a last-minute journey from Orlando to play this week and maintain his European Tour membership, saw his chances of victory disappear with three bogeys in his last five holes and a 73 which left him 11 shots off the pace.

Rose, who started the day nine under after rounds of 65 and 66, hit a wild drive on the first hole and could only punch his second shot through the trees onto the fairway, but pitched to 15 feet and holed the putt for par.

The 35-year-old then left his birdie putt on the next three feet short, but made amends on the par-five third with a drive of more than 350 yards and an excellent approach setting up an eagle chance he converted from 25 feet.

That took the Ryder Cup star to 11 under par and briefly into a two-shot lead until Bjerregaard, who had birdied the third, also picked up a shot on the fourth.

Bjerregaard moved into a share of the lead after a tap-in birdie on the sixth and matched Rose's birdie on the 10th, the former US Open champion having driven the green on the 280-yard par four with a three wood and two-putting for the simplest of birdies.

Further birdies on the 11th and 12th took Bjerregaard two clear and the 24-year-old made it four in a row on the par-five 13th, but still saw his lead cut in half as Rose holed from 50 feet for his second eagle of the day.

Rose then holed from five feet for birdie on the 14th before Bjerregaard retook the lead on the 16th, only to drop his only shot of the day on the last after his approach ran up against the collar of rough at the back of the green.

Fitzpatrick, who won the British Masters at Woburn a fortnight ago, had raced to the turn in 30 but also dropped his only shot of the day on the 18th in a round of 66.

Graeme McDowell is the leading Irish player on -4, 11 shots off the pace.

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