McKibbin up to 17th as Campillos surges to the top in Kenya

Mark McGowan

Tom McKibbin (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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After back-to-back 69s in rounds one and two, Tom McKibbin went one better in Saturday’s third round to move to rise nine places to 17th on the leaderboard.

As the sole Irishman left in the field after Gary Hurley and John Murphy fell victim to the 36-hole cut, McKibbin began the day with an outside chance of putting himself in contention for the final round, but knew that he’d need to make significant leaderboard progress on moving day.

Two birdies on the opening nine – the first coming at the par-5 fourth and the second at the par-4 sixth – saw the 20-year-old make the turn at -2. He’d add another birdie at the 10th, but his progress was halted by two bogeys in a three hole stretch from 13-15.

In danger of letting a good day slip, he responded with two more birdies in his closing three holes, including a four at the par-5 closing hole to reach the clubhouse at -7, three-under for the round, and moving up to T17 on the board.

Realistically, any chances of the youngster claiming his first DP World Tour win are slim at best, with a six-stroke deficit to 54-hole leader Jorge Campillo and a raft of quality players in between.

Campillo rose to the top courtesy of bogey-free eight-under round of 63 that included four birdies on the final four holes to first catch, then overtake the 36-hole leader Nacho Elvira, but he’ being hotly pursued by Scot Robert MacIntyre who’s just one stroke behind.

“It was a great round,” a delighted Campillo said afterwards. “I played really solid and was able to make a few long putts as well, that helps.

“I finished great. Four birdies in a row to finish and I didn’t have a chance to make any bogeys. It was a comfortable round. I hit it very solid and I putted great, so everything worked out really good.

“I’m glad that I’ve won twice, otherwise I’d be quite nervous. Since I know how hard it is to win I just need to have a good day tomorrow and hope nobody else plays great like I did today.

“It’s not going to be easy, I’m going to try and keep playing the way I have been and see if I can make the putts.”

MacIntyre came out with an aggressive gameplan for the third round, and he’d birdie five and bogey one of the opening nine holes, before eagling the tenth to move to joint top of the leaderboard. He’d bogey the 16th but ended the day with a tap-in birdie-four at the last, almost holing his wedge shot on approach, to post a six-under 65, moving the Scot to -12.

“Mike [caddie Mike Thomson] was adamant I should stay in the middle of the green,” MacIntyre confessed post-round, “but I had a wedge in my hand – I’m not really backing away from a pin with a wedge.

“That’s the way I play golf and it was just good to see it be up there close.”

They’ll be joined by Masahiro Kawamura in the final group for Sunday’s fourth round after the Japanese player followed his opening rounds of 67 with a Saturday 68 to advance to -11 where he sits alongside South African Jayden Schaper.

McKibbin will begin his final round at 11:10 local time (09:10 Irish time) alongside Germany’s Velten Meyer and 36-hole leader Nacho Elvira who struggled to maintain the form of the opening two days and laboured to a two-over 73.


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