Ewen Ferguson opened up a four-shot lead heading into the final round of the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa, as the 25-year-old Scot targets a maiden DP World Tour title at Muthaiga Golf Club.
The scorching conditions favoured the early starters in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi and a plethora of players made big charges towards the top of the leaderboard in the morning, not least Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult and China’s Wu Ashun who carded rounds of 64 and 66, respectively, to share second spot on ten under.
It was Ferguson who held his nerve at the top, in the firm and hot afternoon conditions, having entered the weekend one shot off the lead. He opened with a birdie before an eagle three at the fourth launched him two clear of the field, and a bogey-free back nine helped him to a five under 66 and a 14 under leading total.
Should he convert for a first professional win, Ferguson would be the first Scottish, and British, winner in the DP World Tour era while it would also make it six winners from six different countries since the beginning of the 2022 campaign.
Kinhult and Wu – both winners already on the Tour – sit four shots back while Spanish duo Jorge Campillo and Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, Englishman David Horsey and Germany’s Matthi Schmid all share fourth place on nine under par.
Ewen Ferguson: “I was playing really well coming into the day, made a nice birdie on one which I think really settles you down a little bit. I managed to plod my way along. I made a couple of mistakes which, when you’re playing well, you still come out with par – get up and down from 70-80 yards for pars and that keeps the momentum going.
“I think that was the key today, momentum just kept going, I was holing clutch three or four putts to keep me going and I just played nicely and plodded my way around.
“I just kind of wrote that Ras Al Khaimah tournament off because I was just sitting in my room for eight days (with Covid) and didn’t touch a club so when you’re a high performance athlete and come out trying to play golf all the time, you don’t take much time off, it’s just not there.
“I played well in Abu Dhabi, but then just wrote that next tournament off, went back home, practised with my coach and family and just didn’t let it get under my skin.
“It would be unbelievable to win obviously, but I think with everything going on in the world right now, golf just means so little and I think that’s on the back of everyone’s minds. I think that’s pretty key as well, there’s so much other stuff going on so I’ll try my best tomorrow and try grind out the win but if it doesn’t happen I’ll be back again for another chance.”
Marcus Kinhult: “I hit some good shots, gave myself a couple of ten-footers and managed to hole them so it was fun. I’ve been pretty aggressive on the par fives, especially at 18 there, hitting driver and threading the gap between the bunkers and if you do that, the ball runs forever. I think I’ve been hitting wedge, nine iron or eight iron into that green. If you hit a good tee shot you have a pretty good chance to make eagle or birdie.
“It was definitely a step in the right direction to win on the Nordic Golf League. I haven’t been playing well it feels, so it was very nice last week to step down a few levels, spent time with my good friends and then on top of that play some golf gold, so I’m in a good place.”
Wu Ashun: “I was happy to finish five under with one bogey. I found some feelings on how to play this golf course, finally my game is pretty good to and my putting was good so I’m happy with my play today.
“On the back nine almost every hole I had a birdie change, every hole actually. I had some misreads on the green, but it was no big deal, my putting was still good, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
“I just need to keep it simple like today and I might have a chance tomorrow. I just need to keep making birdie.”