Sergio Garcia struggles on the greens in Round 3 of Hong Kong Open

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Sergio Garcia struggles on the greens in Round 3 of Hong Kong Open

Euro Tour

Sergio Garcia struggles on the greens in Round 3 of Hong Kong Open

You’d think a guy with a green jacket would have finally said goodbye to putting problems, but Sergio Garcia still seems to be battling the part of his game that has held him back for years.

The Masters champion is six shots off the pace heading into the final round of the $2 million UBS Hong Kong Open. He would be closer to India’s S.S.P. Chowrasia if only he’d putted like he did at Augusta earlier this year to win his first major.

Garcia, who is reportedly being paid $1.5 million to play in Hong Kong, returned a third-round 66 to retain a slender hope of winning. Yet it was arguably the most dissatisfying 66 of his career. 

“It should have been probably an easy 63,” Garcia said. “I just haven’t felt comfortable all week for some reason 

“I made some nice putts. Unfortunately, I just missed a whole bunch coming in, good birdie opportunities.”

Chowrasia takes a one-shot lead into the final round over Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello and Wade Ormsby of Australia. The 39-year-old returned a 1-under-par 69 to get to 10 under par.

The Calcutta native has four European Tour wins, but is yet to win a European Tour event on foreign soil. 

“I’m happy with the score today, although I definitely left a couple of shots out there,” Chowrasia said. “I felt a little extra pressure today which is probably why I missed a couple of putts. 

“I’ll definitely have to shoot a low number to win because someone just behind me will definitely go low.”

Cabrera Bello did just that to shoot up the leaderboard. The Ryder Cup player fashioned a six-under-par 64 to get into contention. 

“I did get it going on the greens today which was the difference,” Cabrera Bello said. “I managed to hole some good putts. Hopefully this will give me a chance for tomorrow. I think I’m going to be within reach, so I do believe that I can win it for sure.” 

Ormsby returned a 65 to give himself a chance of his first European Tour victory.

Newly crowned European number one Tommy Fleetwood is two shots off the pace, while Justin Rose is five shots behind Chowrasia.

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