Lara Extends Leads in Hong Kong


2006 UBS Hong Kong ChampionshipHONG KONG -- Spain's Jose Manuel Lara fired a 4-under 66 Saturday to extend his lead to two shots after three rounds of the Hong Kong Open. Lara completed 54 holes at 14-under-par 196.
Juvic Pagunsan, a rookie from the Philippines, also shot 66 to climb into second place at 12-under-par 198. Gregory Bourdy fell into third place at minus-10 after a one-under 69.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 2005 champion, shot 4-under 66 Saturday. He shares fourth place at 9-under-par 201 with Thongchai Jaidee, who shot 67 in the third round.
Lara once again got his round going with a birdie on the par-5 third, a hole he has birdied all three rounds. He rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt on the seventh to move to 12-under, two clear of Pagunsan.
The Spaniard dropped his second shot to the par-4 10th at Hong Kong Golf Club four feet from the hole. He knocked that birdie putt in before stringing together six straight pars.
Lara sank an eight-footer for birdie at the 17th, his third birdie in three days on the hole, to move to 14 under. He two-putted for par at the last to end a bogey-free round two clear of Pagunsan.
'I thought that was the toughest day really because, playing in the last group, I did not start so well. I just made birdie on the third and then missed a couple of putts,' admitted Lara. 'The key today was that I didn't make any bogeys.'
Lara is still searching for his first tour win so nerves could be a factor in the final round.
'I said to Miguel Angel (Jimenez) on Friday that this is my week. But you never know,' Lara stated. 'At the moment, I am enjoying the top and I'll try to keep it up Sunday.'
Pagunsan birdied the third and sixth to climb within one of Lara's lead. However, Pagunsan double-bogeyed the ninth and bogeyed the 10th to tumble back to minus-seven.
The 28-year-old ran off four straight birdies from the 11th, which he capped with an eight-foot birdie putt on the 14th, to jump back to minus-11. Pagunsan sank another 8-footer for birdie at 16 to end within two of Lara.
'I am really happy, especially considering the first few days,' Pagunsan said. 'That was a nice comeback from double-bogey and bogey.'
Bourdy, who was paired with Lara, was even-par for his round through 10 holes with three bogeys and three birdies. He climbed back to minus-11 with birdies at 12 and 14, but he faltered to a bogey on 16 to fall four behind his playing partner.
Soren Kjeldsen fired a 5-under 65 Saturday to climb to 8-under-par 202. He stands alongside Jean Van de Velde, Simon Khan, Jyoti Randhawa, Jeev Milkha Singh and Lian-Wei Zhang in a share of sixth place.
Colin Montgomerie posted an even-par 70 in round three. He is tied for 19th at 5-under-par 205.
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