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MKO 2024 Round 3: Dutchman enjoys lead with one round left

Saturday, February 24th, 2024 20:51 | By
Darius van Driel
Darius van Driel. PHOTO/@AbsaKenya/X

It was a day of rain interruptions but also great golf as Spaniard Manuel Elvira, 27, and Dutchman Darius Van Driel, 34, both closed Round 3 with a score finish of -10 (203) at the Magical Kenya Open (MKO) -DP World Tour tournament ongoing in the Par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club as the race for the ultimate 425,000 Euros (Ksh66,032,272) cash prize lights up.

Tapio Pulkannen of Finland had his ball stuck up a tree on his tee shot off the eighth on what was a humour moment even for the crowd. The 33-year-old Finn closed out down in joint seventh place with a score total of -7(206) after two days amongst the best four on the leaderboard even as he chases a maiden DP Tour title.

Meanwhile, there was a three-way tie in third place with Ryan Van Velzen, Joe Dean and Connor Syme all finishing on -8 par (205). The trio had real fun out there with young South African player Velzen aged 22 closing his third round with six birdies and only two bogies in what was a fairly clean afternoon under damp and windy conditions at the course.

At least five players were tied in sixth place on day three of action on a score of -7 under par (206). Spaniard Nacho Elvira, 37, kept pace with his younger kin Manuel as he led the group. His return for Round 3 was solid as he posted six birdies against three bogies which incidentally happened in the front 9 holes. The current World number 242 ended the day with a score total of -3(68).

Others in his group were Englishman Sam Hutsby, 35, South African Deon Germishuys, 24 and Scotsman Ewen Ferguson, 27, who equally had good play out in the course despite somewhat difficult circumstances.

Another group of four players who still have a shot at the title, finished at -6( 207). Led by the 2022 Kenya Open winner 38-year-old Chinese player Ashun Wu, they also waded through the grass and at times threw caution to the wind. Wu, who ranked 452nd in the world, has 4 DP Tour wins to his name and put aside his round one nightmare where he shot a +2(73) on the board. He finished the third round today with a remarkable score of -6(65). His eight birdies on holes ( 2,8,10,11,13,15,16 and 18) set him nicely for reclaiming his title last won by Spaniard Jorge Campillo in 2023.

Other players closing out the day on -6 under par score were Englishman Matthew Jordan, 28, alongside Louis de Jagger, 36, of South Africa and Lucas Vacarisas, 25, of Spain.

East Africa's lone survivor through the cut as of Friday Ronald Rugumayo of Uganda on his part scored a Par (71) with a total of 212 across the three rounds. The 31-year-old World number 2901 sent the crowd into a frenzy after hitting a clutch birdie in hole 18.

Rugumayo was once again clean and tidy finishing joint in 59th place overall in the leaderboard.

Leaderboard -MKO-Rd 3

Manuel Elvira -10 (203)
Darius Van Driel-10 (203)
Ryan Van Velzen-8(205)
Joe Dean-8 (205)
Connor Syme-8 (205)
Nacho Elvira -7 (206)
Sam Hutsby-7 (206)
Dean Germishuys-7 (206)
Tapio Pulkannen -7 (206)
Ewen Ferguson-7 (206)
Ashun Wu -6 (207)
Matthew Jordan-6 (207)
Louis de Jager-6 (207)
Lucas Vacarisas -6 (207)

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