Saturday, November 07, 2015

Russell Knox still in the mix on a weather-disrupted day at Shanghai 

Kevin Kisner continued his march towards a maiden WGC-HSBC Champions title, but the American has a whole host of rivals – including his compatriot Dustin Johnson and local hero Li Hao-tong – snapping at his heels at Sheshan International Golf Club.
Kisner posted four birdies in a round of 70 to move to 16 under par, one shot clear of Johnson, Li and Scotland’s Russell Knox, who still has one hole left to play after darkness cut short his third round in Shanghai. The threat of lightning had led to a lengthy suspension in the morning, and when play got underway Li was soon creating a storm of his own, notching four successive birdies from the first to eat into Kisner’s overnight advantage. 
The 20 year old, who came agonisingly close to winning the Shenzhen International earlier in the season, eventually signed for a round of 66 and a 15 under par aggregate total. Li will have a place in the record books in his sights on the final day, as he bids to become the youngest player – and the first from China – to win a World Golf Championship event. 
Johnson represents a big threat to the youngster’s hopes of creating history after the World Number Eight joined Li and Knox in a share of second place courtesy of a round of 65. 
Knox was three under par through 17 holes, and will return to Sheshan International at 7.45am on Sunday morning to complete his round. 
The lowest round of the day was posted by two-time Major Champion Jordan Spieth, who signed for a flawless 63 to move firmly into contention on 13 under par. The World Number Two was joined in a share of fifth place by England’s Ross Fisher and his fellow European Tour Member Patrick Reed of America.  
Key quotes
Kevin Kisner, 70 (-16 total)
“I played well today. The weather was difficult, but I hung in there and made some birdies coming in to give myself a chance to be leading going into tomorrow.
“My theory on the Tour and trying to win is your lead is never safe because some guy is going to make birdies. Look at Jordan today, his name popped up, I don't even know where he started and he was on the leaderboard. Just keep making birdies is what I'm going to try to do. I'll look up on about 15 and 16 and see if I need to change my game plan.”
Dustin Johnson, 65 (-15 total)
“It’s always great to be up there and feel like you have a chance on Sunday. I'll definitely have a chance to win tomorrow, and you know, that's kind of all you can ask for. Two years ago here, I had a three-shot lead on Sunday and tomorrow, I'm one behind, but I just need to go out and do what I did today. Just drive it in the fairway and get a lot of looks at birdies.”
Li Hao-tong, 66 (-15 total)
“This tournament is so big. I know that the final day, a lot of people are going to be hitting a lot of birdies. My target, my goal for this tournament it to make the top ten, because making the top ten would  be a highlight and a milestone for my short career. I hope that tomorrow I can do well and finish at the position of where I want to.”
Russell Knox, (-3 after 17 holes, -15 total)
“I played beautifully for the first 12 holes, and then I started to limp in a little bit. I decided not to play the last hole because it was awfully dark.
“Our group spoke on the 17th tee. We could easily have not played, but we all hit great shots and walked off with either a birdie or a par. Then Branden and Kevin wanted to get it done on the last, but it was into the wind, so I thought I’d just wait until the morning and see if I can catch it downwind or with no wind at all.
“My caddie didn’t want me to play the last, so I’m happy with my decision. It just means I’m going to have to wake up a lot earlier in the morning, so it will be a multiple breakfast day tomorrow.”
Jordan Spieth, 63 (-13 total)
“Today I came out knowing that it was a gettable golf course. We had a rain delay after the first two holes, I was at even par and those first two were playing pretty easy, so I was pretty frustrated with that and came out and just got it going from there. Once one or two putts went in, a few more did.
“I missed four putts inside eight feet today and that's also not normal in a round of golf. So what could have been and what it was, both are special and obviously I’m pleased.”
Ross Fisher, 65 (-13 total)
“I’m absolutely delighted. I knew the scoring was going to be pretty good today. The first two days, I was kind of playing catch-up, having played with Russell who played very solid. I knew I had to go out and just try to shoot as good a score as I could to try to get myself in with a chance tomorrow. So to go out and shoot seven under, one bogey, six birdies and an eagle, I’m very pleased.”

Link to scoreboard




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