The Hong Kong Open finished up play on Saturday with Stuart Manley taking the lead. Wales’ Stuart Manley only leads by one stroke after shooting a 66 on Saturday to stay 10 under par for the tournament.
Manley, 34, won the Challenge Tour’s Finnish Challenge in August and is looking to win his first ever European Tour event. So far, he feels pretty good about his effort.
“Pretty much from the first hole every shot was heading towards the pin,” Manley said. “If I had a good day on the greens it could have been really good round. I’ve taken out so many pins.”
The day would have been perfect for Manley if he hadn’t hit a sprinkler to score an unfortunate bogey on 16. What started out as an incredible shot to the pin, took an odd bounce off a sprinkler head and went wild, preventing him from going into the final day at Fanling with a wider lead.
“The 16th was really disappointing, if it doesn’t hit the sprinkler head it’s going stiff, but to bounce back with a birdie on the next was great.”
As play heads into Sunday, Manley will match up with the leading Asian player in the field, Shiv Kapur, India. Kapur and Wade Ormsby of Australia both shot 66 as well to sit tied for second at nine under par, while defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain (65) was among a trio of players at eight under.
The field is extremely close with the top 14 players separated by only four shots. Friday’s leader Jbe Kruger of South Africa bogied the first hole and never got going. He shot a double bogey and two further bogies on the back nine leaving him three over for the day and six shots behind playing partner Manley.
For Manley, the lead in the Hong Kong Open gives him an opportunity he has been wanting for a long time. No stranger to competition and Sunday leads, the Welshman is looking forward to ending his drought on the European Tour, “I’ve led a few events on the Challenge Tour, so hopefully that’ll help me tomorrow. It would mean the world to me to win on the European Tour.”