Shanghai, October 28: World number one Dustin Johnson of the United States remains the player to beat after he extended his advantage to six shots over close friend Brooks Koepka with a third round four-under-par 68 at the WGC-HSBC Champions on Saturday.
Starting the day with a one-shot lead, Johnson would cap off another commanding performance with his three-day total of 17-under-par 199 on a wind-swept day at the Sheshan International Golf Club.
Koepka’s title ambitions took a dent when he mixed his card with five birdies, three bogeys and a triple-bogey for a 73. The 2017 U.S. Open winner, who took the first round lead, will start his final round in second place while Olympics Silver Medalist Henrik Stenson of Sweden will begin his in third place after signing for a 69.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat had a day to forget when he returned with a 75 having started the day in tied-third place. Compatriot Poom Saksansin, on the other hand, enjoyed his best round so far with a 68 that moved him into a share of 15th place.
Malaysia’s Gavin Green, Asian Tour current Order of Merit leader, signed for a 73 that placed him in equal 21st place.
Did you know?
- Dustin Johnson remains on course to become the first player in history to win three of the four World Golf Championships in a single season after claiming the WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
- Brooks Koepka is making his second appearance at the WGC-HSBC Champions. He finished tied-40 last year.
- Koepka’s best WGC outing to date is a tied-fifth finish at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play earlier this year where he lost to Jason Day in the quarter-finals.
- Poom Saksansin only arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday evening. He has not played at the Sheshan International Golf Club before and posted rounds of 73 and 70 in his opening two rounds.
- Poom is a two-time Asian Tour winner. He won his first title in Indonesia last year before injuring his back. He returned to his best form when he won the TAKE Solutions Masters in India in August. Also finished tied second in Japan last month.
- Earlier in his career, Poom played mostly on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) where he won once in 2015. Since then, his career has been on the upswing. He turned professional in 2013 at the age of 20 because he did not want financial support from his parents.
”I would much rather win by a large margin, any day.” – Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson (Usa) Third round 68 (-4), Total 199 (-17)
Today was a tough day with the wind. I felt like I played really, really well. You know, had a double-bogey on 10 but I actually hit a really good drive right down the right side of the fairway and landed on the cart path and went straight right into the bushes. But other than that, it was a really solid day. I hit a lot of good drives and a lot of good iron shots. Especially with the windy conditions. I’m not going to change anything. Same game plan. You know, play the golf course just how I’ve been playing it.These are big events, some of our biggest events we have on TOUR. Obviously the best players in the world are here. These are golf tournaments that I obviously always want to put myself in position to win, which I’m in a good position going into tomorrow. But I’m still going to have to go out and play a really solid round if I want to get it done. I would much rather win by a large margin, any day.
Brooks Koepka (Usa) Third round 73 (+1), Total 205 (-11)
I felt like I didn’t make any putts. I felt like they were good putts but they just didn’t go in. There were five holes that were just a disaster there from eight to 12. Nine was all right. But even 10, to put that wedge shot in the bunker was pretty poor, especially when you’ve got so much room, and then 11, I missed a putt there. I gave up a lot of shots. The start was really good. The first seven holes I thought was pretty solid and the rest of it, very up-and-down. It was definitely windier today. I didn’t think it was playing that difficult. Definitely should be able to shoot 4-under out here, minus a triple and whatever else I had, a lot of bogeys.
Yes, I hit good but I think more important, I putted good today. It was windy but I played in the first group, so less wind in the front nine, but back nine, still a lot of wind. I’m very happy considering I did not have a practice round and have never played this course before. I haven’t set any goals for myself I’m just happy and want to keep playing.
Gavin Green (Mas) Third round 73 (+1), Total 212 (-4)
I started off a little shaky today. I didn’t hit it very good to start. I was getting frustrated, and towards the end of the first nine, I was able to flip it around a little bit. Got two birdies. Gave myself a lot of looks. Missed a lot of putts coming down the stretch, but I think the important thing is I gave myself looks and stopped the bleeding, basically. I’m enjoying it, so it’s good. The fans are great. Obviously playing with Wu today and Charles, Wu is a big guy here and the crowd is great. It’s fun and I hope to play more of these. I’m hoping for an under-par round tomorrow. That’s my goal. Doesn’t matter how many. I’ll just try and get as many as I can.
Leading scores after round 3 of the WGC – HSBC Champions being played at the par 72, 7261 Yards Sheshan International Golf Club course (am – denotes amateur):
199 – Dustin JOHNSON (USA) 68-63-68.
205 – Brooks KOEPKA (USA) 64-68-73.
206 – Henrik STENSON (SWE) 68-69-69.
207 – Brian HARMAN (USA) 68-69-70, Justin ROSE (ENG) 67-68-72.
208 – Kyle STANLEY (USA) 71-68-69, Peter UIHLEIN (USA) 72-67-69, Rafa CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 68-70-70.
209 – Tyrrell HATTON (ENG) 68-70-71, Matt KUCHAR (USA) 67-70-72, Matthew FITZPATRICK (ENG) 68-69-72.
210 – Paul DUNNE (IRL) 67-73-70, Charles HOWELL III (USA) 72-67-71, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 65-70-75.
211 – Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 73-70-68, Hyunwoo RYU (KOR) 69-73-69, Patrick CANTLAY (USA) 68-74-69, Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 71-70-70, Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT) 71-70-70, David LIPSKY (USA) 69-70-72.
212 – Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 71-72-69, Paul CASEY (ENG) 71-72-69, Gavin GREEN (MAS) 65-74-73, WU Ashun (CHN) 67-72-73.
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About HSBC Golf Sponsorships
HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite.
HSBC is a proud patron of The Open Championship and this partnership with The R&A creates a centre of gravity to a global golf portfolio that spans HSBC’s key markets. In Asia, HSBC has spearheaded the arrival of world class golf events with its flagship WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. The $9.75m WGC-HSBC Champions is renowned as ‘Asia’s Major’ and has made such an impact, that Rory McIlroy describes China as “an unstoppable force in world golf.” HSBC has been co-title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship since 2010 and the event has quickly become one of the biggest events on the European PGA Tour.
However, underpinning those international flagship events is a longer-term ambition to create a legacy from HSBC’s global tournaments through its sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes. In China, HSBC supports the HSBC China Junior Golf Program, a sustainable long-term structure and framework upon which the future of Chinese golf is being built. In Hong Kong, HSBC supports the HSBC Hong Kong Junior Golf Programme, a structured pathway for children to try the sport for the first time, develop their skills and, for those talented enough, the chance to represent Hong Kong on the international stage. In the UK, HSBC is sponsor of HSBC Golf Roots – The Golf Foundation’s national development programme, which promotes the sport in schools, helps youngsters into clubs and uses golf to promote important life skills.
For more details on HSBC’s golf activities, visit www.hsbcgolf.com.
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About the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions
In 2017, the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions will be the first of four World Golf Championships events sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours on the PGA TOUR schedule. The other World Golf Championships include the Mexico Championship (Mexico City), the Bridgestone Invitational (Akron, Ohio) and the Dell Match Play (Austin, Texas).
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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