HTO DAILY: THE STAGE IS SET FOR FANTASTIC FINISH

JAN 11, 2016

Three rounds are in the books at the inaugural Ho Tram Open, and the tournament favorite, Sergio Garcia, is in position to take home the trophy. Will he? We’ll know by tomorrow afternoon.

One thing’s for sure about today: the Spaniard had a massive amount of support, as evidenced by the sheer volume of spectators who followed his group starting from the very first tee. He didn’t disappoint either, posting a 3-under-par 68. One of his playing partners, Lin Wen-tang, is still the leader by two — a feat made all the more impressive given some early-round jitters.

“Playing with Sergio and Charlie (Wi), I felt a bit nervous and scared,” said Taiwan’s No. 1 player. “I bogeyed (holes) two and four. But my brother, who is my caddy, told me to calm down and I recovered nicely.”

Those with an appetite for more entertainment will get it later this evening when former Westlife star Brian McFadden takes the ballroom stage at The Grand for a much-anticipated concert. A keen golfer in his own right, the Irishman will undoubtedly be backing English mate Robert Rock tomorrow as the Bluffs ambassador tries to finish in style.

Tomorrow will also every remaining golfer’s last chance to record a hole-in-one, so far only achieved by Donlaphatchai Niyomchan, Taewoo Kim and Arnond Vongvanij, who never even saw his ball go in on Friday due to fading sunlight.

“My playing partner’s father was on the green at the time and I could tell he was saying something, but with the wind being as strong as it was I couldn’t hear him,” Vongvanij said. “It was a nice surprise (to find it in the hole).”

Anyone else looking to card a 1 would be wise to do it at the difficult 15th, where a luxurious BMW 3 Series is in the offing.

Whether it happens or not, there will be plenty of excitement around Asia’s Grandest Stage by day’s end. And no one will be more thrilled at that moment than the champion, who is assured $270,000 of a $1.5 million prize purse that has made the Ho Tram Open Vietnam’s richest sporting event.

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