Hong Kong Open: Karlsson retains lead

Updated: 19 November 2007 10:09 IST

Sweden's Robert Karlsson retained his four-stroke lead despite dropping his first shot in 54 holes at the Hong Kong Open on Saturday.

Hong Kong Open: Karlsson retains lead

Hong Kong:

Sweden's Robert Karlsson retained his four-stroke lead despite dropping his first shot in 54 holes at the Hong Kong Open on Saturday.

Karlsson, 38, had enjoyed two bogey-free rounds before dropping a shot at the par-four ninth for a four-under-66 at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.

Karlsson fired four birdies on the front nine and sunk the final birdie at the 14th hole, for a 16-under par 194 total in the tournament.

Four strokes behind was Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, who also carded a 66 after dropping a shot on the ninth.

"I am very happy with the way I played today and that is the most important thing," Karlsson said.

"Both me and Miguel had a fantastic start and if you play well the first few holes, you get into the rhythm of the round and we made the most of it," he added.

After a similar run with five birdies against a lone bogey, the 2004 champion Jimenez will be determined to pile on the pressure and close the gap heading into the final round on Sunday.

"We both played well, especially on the front nine," Jimenez said. "I hope to take advantage of my chances in the early stages tomorrow. Robert is playing fantastic.

"He is playing solid in every aspect of his game. But I want to put some pressure on him with some birdies in the final round," he said.

Australia's Marcus Fraser shot a blemish-free 64 to put him in tied third place with first round leader KJ Choi from South Korea, Sweden's Peter Hanson and Shiv Kapur from India, all with an 11-under 199 for the tournament.

"I've putted better today as I have been struggling with my putting the last couple of weeks," Kapur said, praising his caddie for doing a "great job reading the greens."

Canadian star and former U.S. Masters champion Mike Weir carded a three-under 67 to slip to joint seventh in the $2.25 million (euro1.54 million) event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee shot a 68 and is in joint 10th place seven strokes behind the leader.

China's top golfer Liang Wen-chong, who leads the Asian Order of Merit, carded a similar score for a 202 total and is tied for 14th.



Topics : Golf Robert Karlsson
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