McKibbin surrenders lead but battles to lie within two ahead of final round in Singapore

Ronan MacNamara

Tom McKibbin (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Despite giving up his Friday night lead and falling back after a blistering start to round three, Tom McKibbin will enter Sunday’s Singapore Classic with a great chance to win his maiden DP World Tour title in just his 17th career start.

McKibbin lies in a share of fourth place alongside Sami Valimaki, Nathan Kimsey and Marcel Schneider on twelve-under, two shots adrift of leaders Jeungheun Wang and Alejandro del Rey with Hero Cup player Richard Mansell third on -13.

Having completed his second round before the hooter suspended play overnight it looked as if the extra hours of sleep had given the Holywood native an extra gear as he roared out of the traps with a hat trick of birdies before a fourth birdie of the day in five holes took him clear on fifteen-under-par.

Things got untidy for McKibbin who dropped three shots and made a birdie before the turn with his only par on the front nine coming on the 4th.

From there, McKibbin bounced in and out of the lead with the 20-year-old bogeying the 12th before picking up a shot on the par-5 14th.

A late bogey on 16 saw him settle for a one-under 71 which he was disappointed with after such an encouraging start.

“I started off great. A little rusty in the middle. Good, bad, then good. It had a bit of everything, but overall the game was solid enough in a round that was pretty tricky with the wind.

“It’s a bit annoying (not capitalising after the start), but bogeys are going to happen around here. You just have to accept it and move on and try and find a few birdies, which I did, but unfortunately I had a few more bogeys. I’m in a good position going into tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to it.

“I’ve saved a few shots out there and a few at the start as well. Overall, it was a pretty even day, hopefully I can go a bit better tomorrow.”

McKibbin has impressed in his rookie campaign on the DP World Tour with three top-15 finishes and five cuts in his first seven starts and Sunday promises to be at least his best tour finish and maybe more.

“Similar to the last few days, I’ll just try and hit the ball a wee bit closer to the hole and try and eliminate some of those mistakes. I don’t think I can afford to have too many tomorrow, I’ll go out and give it my all.”

The Northern Irishman will tee off in the final round alongside Paul Waring and Mathieu Pavon.

Scoring HERE

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