Cameron Smith shares Hong Kong lead with Phachara Khongwatmai

ReutersNov 11, 2023, 06:20 AM ET1 Minute Read

In Hong Kong, former Open champion Cameron Smith heads into the final round of the Hong Kong Open tied for the lead with Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai at 16-under par. Smith’s impressive 5-under 65 at Fanling on Saturday put him in prime position for a shot at victory.

Trailing overnight leader Phachara by just a single shot, Smith’s stellar performance on the composite course included six birdies, pulling him level with his competitor with 18 holes remaining.

The stakes are high as both players aim to join a prestigious winners list that includes major champions Rory McIlroy, Greg Norman, and Justin Rose. This year’s tournament marks the return of the Hong Kong Open after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under overcast and breezy conditions, Smith made a steady start, earning a single shot in his first seven holes. His back-to-back birdies at Nos. 8 and 9 sparked momentum and set the stage for a dominating performance.

Despite a setback with a bogey on No. 16, Smith’s resilience shone through as he quickly recovered, hitting a crucial birdie on the 17th to level the playing field with Phachara.

The competition remains fierce, with twelve players within five shots of the lead duo. Former U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell sits just four shots back at 12 under, adding to the anticipation of an exhilarating final round.


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