Mutahi Kibugu put in another solid performance in the third round of the Magical Kenya Open carding level par 71 to remain in the middle of the pack at Muthaiga as the moving day action produced a new leader, Jorge Campillo.
Buoyed by a boisterous home crowd, Kibugu had a shaky start on the front nine where he bogeyed number four and five to drop to one under gross. “I think had some concentration lapse a bit especially on number four where I inexplicably miscued a shot. Then I thinned the ball off the tee on number five which gave me no chance to recover,” Kibugu said after the round.
The Muthaiga Golf Club player dusted himself up and embarked on a strong run headlined by a birdie on number eight. Excellent putting ensured that Kibugu made some crucial par saves on number 10, 11 and 14 after failing to find the green in regulation. He was momentarily set back on number 17 when he overshot the green on approach from inside 100 yards, then duffed the third shot resulting in a costly bogey.
Kibugu sent the packed gallery into a frenzy with a tap-in birdie on number 18 after missing an eagle by a whisker heading to the clubhouse on -3 gross. “I feel good. I think I didn’t hit the ball great today but I managed to scramble the score, which I’m happy with at the end of the day. I was just unlucky at times. My putts didn’t drop today, hopefully they’ll drop tomorrow and we’ll see what we can do,” said Kibugu.
Campillo overturned a five shot deficit to post the day’s best round of eight under 63 which took him to -13 gross. En route to assuming the 54-hole leadership, the Spaniard produced a bogey-free performance, the highlight of his round being four back-to-back birdies from number 15 to 18.
“It was a great round. I played really solid and was able to make a few long putts as well, that helps. I finished great. 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,” said Campillo.
Robert Macintyre moved 12 places up to second position after shooting six under 65 today. Macintyre will start one shot adrift tomorrow as he chases his third win on the DP World Tour.
Thirty-six holes’ leader Nacho Elvira who had only dropped one shot in the opening two rounds, bogeyed three holes and had a double bogey on 16 today after finding the going tough on the back nine to close the day on -8 in position 12.
A total of 79 players made the cut yesterday and are battling for the Kshs 238 million prize money.
DAY 3 LEADERBOARD
J Campillo -13
R Macintyre -12
J Schaper -11
M Kawamura -11
S Tarrio -10
J Catlin -9
L Nemecz -9
M Jordan -9
JC Ritchie -9
B Virto -9