Sunday, 11 December 2016
Danny Willett  (Getty Images)
Danny Willett (Getty Images)

Danny Willett made five birdies to surge to the top of the leaderboard in the final round of the UBS Hong Kong Open.

The Englishman started the day six shots behind leaders Rafa Cabrera Bello and Sam Brazel but as they both turned in 36 to slip back, he was blemish-free to hit ten under with two holes of his round to play.

Cabrera Bello and Brazel were in the group a shot back with Andrew Dodt, Tommy Fleetwood and David Lipsky also at nine under with a thrilling finish in store.

Paul Waring fired a 65 to set the clubhouse target at eight under with Jason Scrivener alongside him having played 13 holes at Hong Kong Golf Club.

Those players a long way back in the field knew they needed a fast start to apply some pressure to the leaders and Willett made some early progress.

The 29 year old recorded a birdie on the fourth and then put his approach on the sixth to tap-in range before making it back-to-back birdies from 20 feet on the next to turn in 31.

Scrivener also made an impressive start with birdies on the third and fourth and those players had both moved to three off the lead alongside Lipsky, who started with six pars.

When the leaders got under way, Cabrera Bello made a routine par on the first but Brazel had to work harder, hitting a snap hook off the tee but recovering well to get up and down from 113 yards to stay at 11 under.

Cabrera Bello found the sand with his second shot on the third but got up and down to make his first birdie of the day and hit the front.

The Spaniard was in big trouble on the sixth as his tee-shot nestled right against the lip of a bunker and his second missed the green but he made an excellent up-and-down, and with Brazel dropping a shot after also finding the sand, the lead was two shots.

Willett made birdies on the 12th and 13th to get into double figures and when Cabrera Bello made a first bogey of the day after going over the back of the seventh, the Masters Tournament champion was just a shot off the lead.

Australian Scrivener played a stunning approach to the tenth to get to nine under and Lipsky soon joined him with a first birdie of the day on the seventh after putting his second to tap-in range.

Cabrera Bello had dropped three shots in four holes approaching the turn on Friday and that part of the golf course was giving him a headache again as he missed the green on the eighth and hit a poor chip to surrender a double-bogey and fall out of the lead.

Dodt had bogeyed the first but made birdies on the fourth and sixth and when he holed a lengthy putt from off the green on the ninth, he was just a shot off the lead.

Tommy Fleetwood began the day as the nearest challenger at nine under and after a double-bogey on the third courtesy of trouble off the tee, he picked up birdies on the seventh and ninth to turn in 34 and get right back in it.

Brazel then missed the green on the ninth to surrender a second bogey of the day and leave Willett out in front on his own.

Scrivener bogeyed the 12th to drop to eight under, a shot clear of Pablo Larrazábal and Danny Chia who were both in the clubhouse.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BRAZEL, SamAUS18-13
T3DODT, AndrewAUS18-11
5LIPSKY, DavidUSA18-10
6WILLETT, DannyENG18-9

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