November 17, 2007 – KJ Choi bounced back from his second round struggles to post an impressive five-under-par 65 on Saturday (November 17) and stay in contention for the UBS Hong Kong Open title.
The Korean ace finished the day on 11-under 199 for the tournament – five shots behind runaway leader Robert Karlsson of Sweden.
Choi began the US$2.25 million showpiece at the at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling at a scorching pace on Thursday with a 62 – just one shot outside the course record – but followed up with a 72.
The PGA Tour star was back to near his best on Saturday, however. “It was a lot better than yesterday’s round!” he said.
“I was very comfortable out there. The third round is all about getting into position for the final round and I think I’ve done that, so I’m very pleased.
“I don’t really know what happened yesterday. I felt OK going out but I just hit a few bad shots and I couldn’t really get my game going.
“But today I felt a lot more comfortable with all my shots and hopefully I can keep going like that tomorrow.”
Karlsson had a 66 to lead on 16-under 194, four shots clear of former champion Miguel Angel Jiménez of Spain, who also had a 66 on Saturday.
Choi is in a group of four players – the others being Sweden’s Peter Hanson (65), Australian Marcus Fraser (64) and Shiv Kapur (65) of India – a shot further back.
Choi, the world No.12, is bidding to become the first Asian winner of the Hong Kong Open since his compatriot Kang Wook Soon triumphed in 1998.
Saturday’s third round saw Choi paired with Chinese No.1 Liang Wenchong – who shot a 68 to reach eight-under 202 – and the duo were accompanied by large galleries throughout the day.
“It was a good day out there and I am very much enjoying being back here playing in Asia,” said Choi.
“I played well on the PGA Tour this year but it’s always good to come back and play in Hong Kong, which is a special place. The tournament is great and UBS have done a wonderful job with it.”