Harding charges into 3rd in Irish Open with a 65

Jul 3, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

Justin Harding came charging through the field on Saturday as his third-round of seven-under-par 65 catapulted him into third place in the European Tour’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Harding made an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys as he climbed 31 places on the leaderboard to 12-under and within three shots of the lead held by Australian Lucas Herbert. Herbert carded a two-under 70 to get to 15-under, which gave him a one-shot lead over American Johannes Veerman. Harding was a shot ahead of Rickard Karlberg of Sweden, Italy’s Francesco Laporta and Dale Whitnell of England.

Harding picked up two early birdies on three and four, but he dropped a shot on the par-three sixth. He regained that shot with birdie on eight, and then he set about some good scoring on his homeward nine. He made a birdie immediately after the turn on 10, and then two in a row on 12 and 13. A bogey on 14 could have derailed his charge, but he eagled the par-five 1th and birdied 18 to put himself well and truly in contention.

Zander Lombard signed for a three-under 69, putting him in a share of 21st, together with Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who had a nightmare start to his round of two-over 74. In his first four holes, he went bogey-bogey-par-double bogey, and he had to spend the rest of the round playing catch-up. In the remaining 14 holes, he made four birdies and two bogeys as he slid 16 places down the leaderboard.

Darren Fichardt carded a two-under 70 to move into a share of 35th on five-under, while Justin Walters had a level-par 72 to head into the final round on four-under in 48th.

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