Hong Kong Open: Aaron Rai closing on maiden European Tour win
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 25/11/18 9:41am
Aaron Rai is closing in on a maiden European tour title after extending his lead to six shots heading into the final round of the Honma Hong Kong Open.
The 23-year-old followed up a course-record 61 on Friday with a two-under 68 to get to 16 under to pull further clear of the chasing pack in Fanling.
Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick share second spot, with Sergio Garcia part of the group a further stroke back after a round-of-the-day 64.
"It was nice today to be pretty steady for the most part and not give too many shots away," Rai said. "Nothing is ever done until it's done and 18 holes is still a lot of golf."
Rai had started the day with a four-shot lead but quickly saw that advantage cut to one when Hyowon Park birdied four of his opening seven holes.
The Englishman holed a 10-footer at the fourth but failed to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker to save par at the ninth, before starting his back nine with a tap-in gain.
Park bogeyed the 11th and suffered back-to-back blemishes from the 13th to slip down the leaderboard, as Rai drained a 20-footer at the 12th to increase his cushion.
Rai went further ahead with a four-foot birdie at the 17th, but fired his tee shot at the next close to the trees to join Park and Fitzpatrick in posting final-hole bogeys.
Fitzpatrick bogeyed two of his final three holes to post a two-under 68, while Fleetwood recovered from an opening-hole blemish to card a third-round 66 to also get to 10 under.
Garcia and Park are joined by Jason Scrivener in a share of fourth, with Thongchai Jaidee a further stroke back alongside Victor Perez after going inches from a hole-in-one at the par-three 12th.
Watch the final round of the Hanmo Hong Kong Open live on Sunday from 6am on Sky Sports Golf.