Ewen Ferguson takes charge in Kenya as Shubhankar Sharma concedes ground

Ewen Ferguson fired a brilliant 66 to gain a four stroke lead in the Kenya Open. Shubhankar Sharma made 75

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Ewen Ferguson - European Tour - Getty Images

06 March 2022: Ewen Ferguson opened up a four-shot lead heading into the final round of the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa, as the 25-year-old Scot targets a maiden DP World Tour title at Muthaiga Golf Club. Shubhankar Sharma, the overnight leader, shot 75 and dropped outside the top 10 going into the final round.

Shubhankar made four bogeys and a double on the 16th against two birdies in a disappointing third round that dropped him into T17. He has some climbing to do to ensure that he secures the best result possible from a good week in Kenya.

The scorching conditions favoured the early starters in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi and a plethora of players made big charges towards the top of the leaderboard in the morning, not least Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult and China’s Wu Ashun who carded rounds of 64 and 66, respectively, to share second spot on ten under.

It was Ferguson who held his nerve at the top, in the firm and hot afternoon conditions, having entered the weekend one shot off the lead. He opened with a birdie before an eagle three at the fourth launched him two clear of the field, and a bogey-free back nine helped him to a five under 66 and a 14 under leading total.

“I was playing really well coming into the day, made a nice birdie on one which I think really settles you down a little bit. I managed to plod my way along. I made a couple of mistakes which, when you’re playing well, you still come out with par – get up and down from 70-80 yards for pars and that keeps the momentum going.

“I think that was the key today, momentum just kept going, I was holing clutch three or four putts to keep me going and I just played nicely and plodded my way around.

“I just kind of wrote that Ras Al Khaimah tournament off because I was just sitting in my room for eight days (with Covid) and didn’t touch a club so when you’re a high performance athlete and come out trying to play golf all the time, you don’t take much time off, it’s just not there.

“I played well in Abu Dhabi, but then just wrote that next tournament off, went back home, practised with my coach and family and just didn’t let it get under my skin.

“It would be unbelievable to win obviously, but I think with everything going on in the world right now, golf just means so little and I think that’s on the back of everyone’s minds. I think that’s pretty key as well, there’s so much other stuff going on so I’ll try my best tomorrow and try grind out the win but if it doesn’t happen I’ll be back again for another chance.”

Ewen Ferguson

Should he convert for a first professional win, Ferguson would be the first Scottish, and British, winner in the DP World Tour era while it would also make it six winners from six different countries since the beginning of the 2022 campaign.

Kinhult and Wu – both winners already on the Tour – sit four shots back while Spanish duo Jorge Campillo and Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, Englishman David Horsey and Germany’s Matthi Schmid all share fourth place on nine under par.