Tom McKibbin progressed up the leaderboard in the third round of the Limpopo Championship in South Africa after a level-par 72 left him six-under-par at Euphoria Golf Club.
The Holywood teen had made it into the weekend with a shot to spare, but his hopes of mounting a challenge over the final two days in Limpopo took a hit as three birdies were cancelled out by three bogeys in round three.
However, while his score did not improve, McKibbin heads into the final round in a share of 34th as the majority of the field found scoring tougher on Saturday, although he now trails leader Oliver Hundebøll by 12 shots with one round to go.
Starting at the 10th at Euphoria, as he will do in his final round, the 19-year-old birdied the par-fours 11 and 14 to begin his round strongly, but bogeys at the 16th and 17th saw him turn in level-par.
And he would finish his day at that score as a birdie at the par-four second was cancelled out by a bogey at the par-three eighth, his 72 the worst round of his week thus far.
Still, it’s another pleasing week so far for McKibbin, who has started the season strongly and is 13th in the Race to Mallorca standings, and he will hope to make a move on Sunday to improve his position.
Meanwhile, Hundebøll’s lead is now four shots going into the final round as he carded five birdies and one bogey in a 68 that has him at 18-under-par and cruising towards a second Challenge Tour title of the year
“I’m really pleased to follow up my good round yesterday and I enjoyed my golf today,” said Hundebøll, who won the recent Manguang Open in South Africa.
“I like playing in the final groups and after getting that first win under my belt it has become much easier. I just play my golf and don’t really get nervous anymore.”
South Africa’s Hennie du Plessis signed for a 67 that has him in second at 14-under-par, with Poland’s Mateusz Gradecki alongside South African pair Luke Jerling and Pieter Moolman in a share of third at 13-under.