Justin Harding takes control in Kenya, Gaganjeet Bhullar continues his climb

Justin Harding set the stage for back to back victories, earning a three stroke lead after the third round of the Kenya Savannah Classic. Gaganjeet Bhullar shot 66

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Justin Harding - European Tour

26 March 2021: Justin Harding is 18 holes away from claiming back-to-back titles in the space of five days after the South African opened up a three-shot lead over an otherwise packed leaderboard heading into the final day of the Kenya Savannah Classic supported by Absa. Gaganjeet Bhullar shot seven birdies during a prolific effort in the third round, yielding him a 66. That helped him move to T27 at 10-under 203. Meanwhile, Shubhankar Sharma produced a third straight 69. The 22-year old shot six birdies and an eagle in a brilliant effort, tempered by untimely bogeys, as he worked aggressively for a push up the order.

The 35-year-old lifted his second European Tour title last week in the Kenya Open presented by Johnnie Walker, having converted a two-stroke advantage heading into the final day. Now, in the second successive event at the beautiful Karen Country Club, Harding has an even bigger lead as he targets a third victory in three years on the Tour.

Should he win, it would the third time he was won back-to-back events – which he achieved on both the Sunshine Tour and the Asian Tour in 2018, all in the space of two months. A five under 66 moved him to 17 under par, three clear of a bunch of six players who share second spot on 14 under.

“Maybe it’s a bit of a surprise to be three clear because I feel like I struggled a bit out there. I couldn’t seem to give myself a good number from the fairway and when you’re playing at altitude and, as hot as the ball is out here, sometimes it’s hard to get the club selection right,” said Harding.

“After I bogeyed 14 unnecessarily it was anyone’s game, I was just happy with the way I finished and I just gave myself a chance. I’ve got no idea, I seem to be having a good gameplan around here and ultimately I’m probably executing more shots. I’ve hit it good off the tee, maybe not quite as good into the greens but I bailed myself out a couple of times with the putter.

“This morning it felt like everyone was going bananas, so it was a tricky day. I think my par save on eight was a bit of a booster. I think missing a short one on seven but then making that on eight and avoiding the bogey was at least a big plus.”

They include five-time winner Darren Fichardt – the South African making his 401st European Tour appearance this week – and five players who have yet to win on Tour, including David Drysdale – playing in his 519th event.

 

Round Three Scores

196 J HARDING (RSA) 64 66 66,
199 K REITAN (NOR) 69 65 65, J JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 66 68 65, M ARMITAGE (ENG) 65 67 67, D FICHARDT (RSA) 65 66 68, D DRYSDALE (SCO) 65 65 69, D VAN TONDER (RSA) 65 64 70,
200 L DE JAGER (RSA) 71 65 64, C HILL (SCO) 67 68 65, A CHESTERS (ENG) 67 68 65, S HORSFIELD (ENG) 66 68 66, G FDEZ-CASTA?O (ESP) 66 66 68,
201 G PORTEOUS (ENG) 69 68 64, A COCKERILL (CAN) 69 68 64, J MORRISON (ENG) 70 65 66, L JOHNSTON (SCO) 66 69 66, V DUBUISSON (FRA) 67 66 68, D VAN DRIEL (NED) 70 62 69,
202 T TREE (ENG) 67 71 64, M SCHWAB (AUT) 66 70 66, S BROWN (ENG) 68 67 67, A CA?IZARES (ESP) 64 71 67, J KRUYSWIJK (RSA) 70 64 68, J LUITEN (NED) 64 68 70, N LEMKE (SWE) 66 65 71, M KAWAMURA (JPN) 67 64 71,
203 M PAVON (FRA) 66 71 66, G BHULLAR (IND) 70 67 66, R ENOCH (WAL) 67 67 69, L SLATTERY (ENG) 66 68 69, J CALDWELL (NIR) 65 68 70,
204 O LIESER (CZE) 72 66 66, S GARCIA RODRIGUEZ (ESP) 70 67 67, M ANTCLIFF (AUS) 67 69 68, J SENIOR (ENG) 67 69 68, M KEYSER (RSA) 65 70 69, C SORDET (FRA) 64 70 70, J GUERRIER (FRA) 70 64 70,
205 A OTAEGUI (ESP) 68 70 67, A RAI (ENG) 70 68 67, N BERTASIO (ITA) 67 70 68, M KIEFFER (GER) 68 69 68, R RAMSAY (SCO) 71 66 68, J SCHAPER (RSA) 69 67 69, R SCIOT-SIEGRIST (FRA) 66 69 70, S SODERBERG (SWE) 68 67 70, H LONG (GER) 69 65 71,
206 S KJELDSEN (DEN) 74 64 68, L SCALISE (ITA) 70 66 70, J FAHRBRING (SWE) 67 69 70, W BESSELING (NED) 67 69 70, S VINCENT (ZIM) 67 67 72, R LANGASQUE (FRA) 67 65 74,
207 N VON DELLINGSHAUSEN (GER) 70 68 69, S SHARMA (IND) 69 69 69, D YOUNG (SCO) 73 65 69, C SHARVIN (NIR) 65 72 70, E CUARTERO BLANCO (ESP) 66 70 71, B EVANS (ENG) 68 68 71, J SURI (USA) 66 70 71,
208 D COUPLAND (ENG) 70 68 70, L BJERREGAARD (DEN) 69 68 71, D HOWELL (ENG) 70 67 71, R SANTOS (POR) 68 68 72, L VAN MEIJEL (NED) 68 68 72, S HEND (AUS) 66 70 72, D WAKHU (KEN) 66 68 74,

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