South Africa’s Justin Harding is poised for another win on the Asian Tour after carding an eight-under-par 64 to grab a share of the lead with United States’ Kurt Kitayama at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Saturday.
The 32-year-old displayed the form that led him to two titles on Tour this season at the Four Seasons Golf Club, Mauritius at Anahita.
Harding rode on a hot putter as he put together a bogey-free round that was highlighted by eight birdies. Starting the day in tied-seventh, he moved up into the joint lead with Kitayama on 16-under-par 200.
“I had good control, especially in the first 10 to 13 holes,” Harding said. “I kind of felt like I could birdie every hole out there.”
“I had good control, especially in the first 10 to 13 holes, I kind of felt like I could birdie every hole out there.” – Justin Harding
Kitayama, who was adjusting to the change in wind conditions, fought to a 70 to stay in the hunt for his maiden Asian Tour title. The American started his day ideally with two birdies in his first four holes. However, he could not get the momentum going and even made an uncharacteristic bogey on the 12th.
The 25-year-old Kitayama will be heading into the final round of a tournament in the lead for the first time on the Asian Tour.
Chikkarangappa S. of India was struggling for the majority of the day, as he found only nine out of 18 greens-in-regulation. A birdie-birdie finish lifted his spirits and kept him in contention at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
Conversely, Frenchman Matthieu Pavon was progressing steadily, making birdies on 2, 9 and 13. He dropped a shot on the 15th but bounced back with a birdie on the next hole. He ended his day with a bogey on the 18th.