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Lowry makes dazzling surge but can't quite catch Ormsby in Hong Kong

The 2019 Open champion shot a final-round 64 but fell short of the Aussie, who had set a blistering pace.

Shane Lowry salutes the Hong Kong crowd.
Shane Lowry salutes the Hong Kong crowd.
Image: Jayne Russell

AUSTRALIA’S WADE ORMSBY said he hoped he had given bushfire victims something to cheer as he held off Open champion Shane Lowry to win the protest-delayed Hong Kong Open for the second time in three years Sunday.

Ormsby carded four-under-par 66 for the third day in a row to complete a wire-to-wire win, finishing with 17-under 263 at Fanling for his third victory on the Asian Tour.

Seeing his countrymen and women “pulling together” to fight the blazes that have scorched an area the size of Ireland had given him motivation to perform on the world stage, he said.

“You just want to get out and do your best and give people something to smile about, something to watch on TV,” he told reporters.

hong-kong-open-golf-final-round Ormsby celebrates. Source: Jayne Russell

Lowry, who won his first Major title at Portrush in July, shot a dazzling 64 on the final day but it wasn’t enough as he ended four shots behind Ormsby.

The Clara native and US Ryder Cup player Tony Finau teed off together, both six shots behind Ormsby and needing to produce something special to chase down the 2017 champion.

Lowry looked in the mood from the start, chipping in superbly from the bunker to birdie the first, with Finau making a smart putt to do the same.

hong-kong-open-golf-final-round Lowry posted a strong final round in Hong Kong. Source: Jayne Russell

Ormsby started with a bogey but he rallied over the next eight, going out one better than Lowry and leaving the Irishman with serious work to do on the back nine.

A Lowry eagle on the 13th drew a huge roar from the crowd but he dropped a shot on the 16th to close at 13-under, leaving Ormsby with a three-shot cushion over the last three holes.

Despite the failed chase, he said he was “very happy” with his second-placed finish at the tricky Fanling, where he failed to make the weekend cut when he last appeared a decade ago.

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“Fair play to Wade, he’s kind of run away with it and never really given us a chance,” Lowry said.

hong-kong-open-golf-final-round Ormsby lines up a putt. Source: Jayne Russell

Ormsby birdied the 17th and calmly sunk a short putt at the finish, pumping his fist in the air and swigging a beer in front of a cheering gallery on the 18th green.

Finau carded 67 to end seven off the pace after finding water for a double bogey on 18.

“Just tried to be aggressive there and make a birdie and the wind changed on me,” the big hitter said.

“Obviously a little salty taste, but that won’t last.”

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond also started the final day as one of the challengers, but the 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner bogeyed twice on the back nine to end six shots back in fourth, one place behind compatriot Gunn Charoenkul.

Amateur 17-year-old Alexander Yang led the Hong Kong contingent, finishing seven under par before he will fly back to the US, where he is based, to start the school week.

Three other players from the city made the weekend cut — a record that has brought cheer to Hong Kong’s sporting community after months of unrest saw several prominent events cancelled.

The Hong Kong Open — whose previous winners include Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose — was originally slated for November, but was postponed as the city was gripped by pro-democracy demonstrations.

© – AFP 2020  

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