McKibbin falls back as Jarvis hits the front in Japan

Mark McGowan

Tom McKibbin (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Tom McKibbin failed to capitalise on a fantastic start to round three at the ISPS HANDA – CHAMPIONSHIP and fell to a tied 30th position going into the fourth and final round at Taiheiyo Club Gotemba Course.

After surging up the leaderboard with a six-under 64 on day two, the 21-year-old put the foot down early on moving day, recording birdies on each of the opening three holes to move to -10 and temporarily grab a share of the lead.

After covering his last 20 holes in nine-under, he was the form man on the course and looked to be set to challenge for a second DP World Tour victory having earned his maiden stripes at last year’s Porsche European Open.

Sadly, that was as good as it got, and he’d go on to register four bogeys – each of them coming at par-4s – to fall back to -6 overall and slip to a tie for 30th on the leaderboard and finish the day seven shots back.

Casey Jarvis will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the  after an adventurous bogey-free 64. The South African was three shots back after completing his second round early in the morning but was in a share of the lead at the turn after making four birdies on the front nine. He rode his luck at times on the way home but two further gains moved him to 13 under and gave him a slim advantage over Germany’s Yannik Paul, who signed for a 68.

Local duo Ryosuke Kinoshita and Keita Nakajima, China’s Li Haotong, Swede Sebastian Söderberg and Frenchman Tom Vaillant were then at 11 under, with 16 players within three shots of the lead.

European Challenge Tour graduate Jarvis is enjoying a consistent debut season on the DP World Tour, sitting inside the top 50 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex having made 11 of 13 cuts coming into this week with a top ten at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

He won the Euram Bank Open last season on the Challenge Tour but the 20-year-old now holds the 54-hole lead at a DP World Tour event for the first time, with plenty at stake in the penultimate event of the Asian Swing, co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organization.

The player who finishes top of the Asian Swing Rankings will win $200,000 and gain entry to the Back Nine events and the leading DP World Tour member (not otherwise exempt) will also qualify for the Genesis Scottish Open. Those who finish in positions one to three will also be exempt into the U.S. PGA Championship.


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