Cho shares lead with Lawson and Lee at the St. Andrew Henan Open
Beijing, June 10: Korea’s Ray Hyun Cho continued to take his place atop the leaderboard after returning with a third round three-under-par 69 to share the third round lead with Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chiehpo and Australia’s Deysen Lawson at the St. Andrews Henan Open on Saturday.
Cho, who has led the China Tour’s season opener event since the first round, mixed his card with seven birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey for a three-day total of 11-under-par 205 at the St Andrew Golf Club’s Zhengzhou course.
Lee overcame an early bogey before posting a 67 to set himself up for a grandstand finish along with Lawson, who is hoping to give his newly-launched professional career a massive boost with a victory this week.
Cho was all smiles again as he found himself back in pole position despite committing several errors on the course.
“I felt a lot better as compared to yesterday. I made seven birdies, so that was good. But I also made a lot of stupid mistakes and that was why I only shot three-under.
“Like on 17, I made a double there where I three-putted. I usually use my three-wood there but today I felt like hitting a two-iron and it went into the bunker. I should not have done that and that was a bad club choice,” said Cho.
The Korean is seeking his maiden breakthrough on the China Tour having come close on several occasions.
After finishing last season with four consecutive top-10s, Cho is approaching his final round with renewed confidence.
“I need to play well comorrow and I have to stick to my game plan. I made a lot of birdies on the first day and I made a lot today too. So I just have to minimize my mistakes. Hopefully it can be a wire-to-wire win for me this week,” said the Korean.
Lee is meanwhile seeking to turn his season around after losing his status on the Asian Tour last year.
The 22-year-old believes he needs to improve on his putting to put himself into contention for the St Andrew Henan Open title.
“I’m feeling very good about my game. The only problem I have is my putting and the two bogeys I made on my front-nine were because I three-putted both of them. But overall, I played quite solid.
“I lost my status on the Asian Tour last year. The field is quite strong and I think everyone has an equal chance of winning the tournament this week. I don’t want to think too far but rather play my best and see what happens,” said Lee.
Lawson is feeling upbeat about his chances. Having only turned professional last year, the Australian is confident he can emerge as the last man standing if he continues playing to his full potential.
“I feel like my game is quite strong to compete anywhere at the moment. I cannot really control what others are doing and I just have to worry about myself and give it my best shot. I just have to play shot by shot and go out and enjoy myself tomorrow,” said Lawson.
China’s Zeyu He, who returned with a 67 to head into the final round six shots behind the leaders in equal seventh position will have to tackle the tricky greens and overcome his putting woes to give himself any chance of becoming a local winner at the St Andrews Henan Open this week.
“My putting was poor today. I didn’t putt as well as compared to the other rounds. I couldn’t take my chances today and missed several short putts.
“I felt the greens were slower today because of the rains yesterday and that affected my game. The rest of my game was okay. I’ll try my best and hope for the best for tomorrow,” said the Chinese.