India's Shiv Kapur remained firmly in contention for a grandstand finish when he returned a four-under 66 to trail Welsh leader Stuart Manley by one stroke after the third round of the USD 1.3 million Hong Kong Open on Saturday.
Kapur was third overnight and moved to tied second. He along with Australia's Wade Ormsby (66) have one victory each on the region's premier Tour and share the second place at the storied championship after Manley signed for a 66 to take his place atop the leaderboard with a three-day total of 10-under 200 at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
Kapur will be looking to put a dent on Manley's title aspirations and notch another Asian Tour victory. This year Kapur has won twice on European Challenge Tour to get back to the main European Tour for 2014.
Among other Indians, Jyoti Randhawa (66) and Anirban Lahiri (67) moved to tied 15th at five-under 208, while Himmat Rai (68) was tied 29th alongside SSP Chowrasia (70) at three-under 210. Sujjan Singh (73) slipped to 66th at two-over 212.
Kapur gave the crowd at the Hong Kong Golf Club a reminder of his talent when he stormed his way back to the top with a flawless 66.
"Today is a day of putting yourself in position. Obviously there's still a long way to go in this golf tournament, but the more birdies I can make today, the easier it will be for tomorrow," said Kapur.
As he stands on the verge of another victory at the Hong Kong Open, which is celebrating its 55th anniversary, Kapur is confident he can maintain his good form and return to the winner's circle again.
"The key is to stay patient and it showed when I was rewarded with my birdies. If I can continue to keep the mistakes off the card, I stand a good chance," said Kapur, who claimed his maiden Asian Tour title in Thailand during his rookie year in 2005.
Defending Spaniard champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, who was recently announced as the playing captain for the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in Malaysia next year, put himself back into the mix when he signed for a 65 to take a share of fourth place alongside compatriot Lara Jose Manuel and England's Steve Webster.
Manley, a European Tour Qualifying School graduate, is well placed to clinch his maiden title and is looking forward to finishing the job in his last 18 holes at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
"I'm loving it at the moment. I've got nothing to lose and I'm just going to go out there and get it done. I feel very confident with the way I'm playing so I'm really excited about tomorrow," said Manley.
Ormsby, who is playing in his second season on the Asian Tour, also believes the race for the Hong Kong Open title is still wide open after limiting Manley's advantage to one.
"I knew I could make some birdies coming in and I just have to keep the ball in play. So it was nice to be able to do it," said Ormsby, who traded seven birdies against three bogeys.
The 33-year-old earned his career breakthrough on the Asian Tour in India in April and has since gone on to enjoy another three top-10 finishes in Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. He is confident of taking the race down the wire when he steps up to the tee for his final 18 holes.
"My game feels good as I made a lot of birdies out there today. There were a few little soft mistakes early on but overall I'm feeling pretty happy," said Ormsby.