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Friday, 19 March 2010
Tournament favourites and Ryder Cup team-mates Padraig Harrington and Miguel Angel Jiménez share the lead with James Kingston at the top of a star-studded leaderboard where seven players are separated by just the one stroke going into the final round of the Omega Hong Kong Open.

Hot on the heels of The Ryder Cup duo at Hong Kong Golf Club is a third member of Europe’s victorious Team, England's David Howell, along with Thomas Björn of Denmark and England's Nick Faldo, all of whom share fourth place with Thai Thammanoon Srirot just one shot off the lead.

Harrington, the defending champion and highest ranked player in the field at World Number Six, moved to the top of the leaderboard with a three under par 67 as he looks to start a third successive campaign on The European Tour International Schedule with a victory. The Irishman, who started the third round four off the lead, birdied the last after holing from 20 feet.

Spain's Jiménez, chasing a fifth victory of the year and third in Asia, posted a one over par 71 while South African Kingston tore through the field with a sensational eight under par 62 to join the leaders on ten under par 200.

But much of the focus will be on Faldo, the 47 year old six-time Major Champion who is chasing his first individual title since March 1997. The Englishman holed birdie putts of over 20 feet on the last two greens for a third round 65 to be ideally placed to mount a challenge at nine under par 201, just one off the lead.

Almost incredibly, Faldo, who started the day seven shots off the lead, has not had a lower score on The European Tour since a closing 64 in the 1994 Open Golf Championship at Turnberry.

"That was very, very nice," said Faldo, who came back from an opening bogey to collect seven birdies.

Since the end of August, Faldo has lost over a stone through a combination of exercising and the South Beach Diet developed by American cardiologist Dr Arthur Agatston.

"I've cut out all the naughty stuff so I can get a more consistent sugar level throughout the day rather than going up and down," Faldo explained.

"No more fried stuff and I'm allowed only one desert a week as a treat. I also know the fruits I'm meant to eat now I got advice from my good old doctor. He said I needed to loose a few and it's worked. I was tired by 8.30 in the evening before - carrying 15 pounds less is a significant amount.

"This is a great opportunity to test what I've been doing and could be a big boost for me. I've come with a game plan and that's the important thing.

"I've been working on some fundamentals of the swing, putting and all areas and am trying to find out what works and stick with it.

"There's no reason I can't win and that's the goal.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MARTIN, Miguel AngelESP18-6
2JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-14
T3HARRINGTON, PadraigIRL18-13
T3KINGSTON, JamesRSA18-13
T5BJÖRN, ThomasDEN18-10
T5SRIROJ, ThammanoonTHA18-10
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