Justin Harding played himself into a share of the lead in round three of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open when he carded a flawless eight-under-par 64. Photo: Sunshine Tour

ANAHITA Justin Harding played himself into a share of the lead in round three of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open when he carded a flawless eight-under-par 64 at Four Season Golf Club at Anahita on Saturday.

He joined overnight leader Kurt Kitayama of the United States who shot two-under in round three to total 16-under-par ahead of the final round in Mauritius.

“I got off to a good start,” he acknowledged, “and, it was just more about making some good putts there and at the end of the day I did the job, hey, put myself in a decent position to get the result tomorrow. I certainly gave myself a few chances.”

He made par on his opening hole and followed that up with a hattrick of birdies before making another crucial par on the par-three fifth hole. Two more birdies got onto his card on the sixth and eighth holes as he went out in 31.

“I feel like I have a really good putter in my hands where if I roll a couple of good putts anything can happen,” said Harding. “It was a tough day starting out but I got off to a hot start. I felt like I should have birdied the first 10 holes. It’s one of those where you just had some good numbers and I made some good swings.”

He was just as solid on the homeward stretch, picking up birdies on the 11th and the par-five 13th and 18th holes to sign for a 64 as he targets his fifth win of the season. He has won twice on the Sunshine Tour while claiming the same number of victories on the Asian Tour.

“Without doubt (my best tournament round on the Sunshine Tour),” he noted, “I really felt like I played pretty well today. I had good control, especially in the first 10, 13 holes. I kind of felt like I could birdie every hole out there.

“It just felt like I could be a little bit more aggressive with the flag today, and I mean, that’s golf sometimes. Sometimes you play a round of golf and you feel like everything looks good. I mean, I walked on to the green and thought that I had a good line and everything and they should all go in.”

Sharing the third spot behind Harding and Kitayama was Masahiro Kawamura of Japan, Matthieu Pavon of France and India’s Chikkarangappa S who are all three shots behind ahead of the final round.

Scores:

200 - Justin Harding 67 69 64, Kurt Kitayama 65 65 70

203 - Masahiro Kawamura 65 71 67, Matthieu Pavon 67 66 70, Chikkarangappa S 64 68 71

204 - Victor Perez 64 69 71

205 - Gavin Moynihan 69 65 71

206 - Grant Forrest 70 71 65, Clement Sordet 71 67 68, Max Schmitt 71 66 69, Oliver Bekker 67 69 70

207 - Romain Langasque 70 72 65, Ajeetesh Sandhu 69 70 68, Dylan Frittelli 69 70 68, Lee Slattery 67 69 71

208 - Adilson Da Silva 73 67 68, Antoine Rozner 70 68 70, Raphael Jacquelin 70 67 71, Jbe' Kruger 70 67 71, Trevor Fisher Jnr 69 66 73

209 - Thomas Aiken 70 71 68, Jack Harrison 71 70 68, Alex Haindl 67 72 70, Yikeun Chang 71 68 70, Yanwei Liu 71 67 71, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 70 68 71

210 - Berry Henson 69 71 70, Keith Horne 68 71 71, Ernie Els 69 70 71, Jean Hugo 71 67 72, Matthias Schwab 67 71 72

211 - Gonzalo Fdez-Castano 72 69 70, Jeunghun Wang 76 65 70, Jordan Smith 68 72 71, Rourke van der Spuy 68 72 71, Christofer Blomstrand 70 68 73

212 - Tyrone Ryan 69 72 71, Kim Koivu 70 71 71, George Coetzee 69 72 71, Joachim B. Hansen 71 70 71, Jaco Ahlers 70 70 72, Fabrizio Zanotti 71 68 73, Pedro Figueiredo 71 68 73, Lionel Weber 69 69 74, Malcolm Kokocinski 67 71 74

213 - Nicolas Colsaerts 72 69 72, Siddikur Rahman 70 70 73, Gregory Havret 72 68 73, Adri Arnaus 72 66 75

214 - Joel Girrbach 70 72 72, Haydn Porteous 76 66 72, Jaco Van Zyl 65 75 74, Philip Eriksson 68 72 74

215 - Udayan Mane 70 72 73, Dawie Van der Walt 72 69 74, Stuart Manley 71 70 74, Hyowon Park 68 73 74, Estiaan Conradie 70 70 75, Paul Peterson 68 72 75

217 - Viraj Madappa 68 74 75, Hennie Otto 74 68 75, Bowen Xiao 73 67 77

218 - Julien Brun 70 72 76, David Drysdale 69 70 79, Merrick Bremner 68 68 82 

African News Agency (ANA)