Australia’s Sam Brazel fired a 3-under 67 on Saturday to catch Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello for the lead at the Hong Kong Open after 54 holes.
Cabrera Bello had started off the tournament red-hot, with rounds of 64 and 65, but fell back to a pedestrian 70 on Saturday to open the door for the competition. Both players sit at 11-under for the tournament, and have a two-stroke lead over UK’s Tommy Fleetwood (66-68-67 – -9)
Brazel, just 18 days short of his 38th birthday, is a virtual unknown, ranked 480th in the world rankings. His career earnings on the European Tour are less than $100,000 despite turning pro in 2002.
“It would mean the world [to win],” he said. “But there’s 18 holes to go and I’m just going to approach it one shot at a time and try and enjoy the moment. Just learn from the experience.
“I started a little nervous on the first but I guess that’s the situation you’re in. I felt the nerves a little bit at lunch time and just sort of grounded it out and it was fun out there.”
He has only nine European tour appearances.