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Kristian Krogh Johannessen and Matthew Baldwin share lead

Kristian Krogh Johannessen and Matthew Baldwin share lead

Kristian Krogh Johannessen and Matthew Baldwin were tied at the top of the leaderboard on 11 under par when the third round of the weather-disrupted SDC Championship 2023 was suspended due to darkness on Saturday evening.

Kristian Krogh Johannessen

Norwegian Johannessen had held a three-shot lead at the halfway stage after finishing his second round with an eagle, five birdies and one bogey on Saturday morning, as Friday's afternoon starters were forced to play catch-up following a weather-affected second day.

He stretched his advantage to five early in the third round after picking up a birdie at St. Francis Links' second hole to reach 12 under par.

But the 28-year-old gave the shot back at the fourth, and even though he birdied the par-three seventh to get back to 12 under, a bogey on the 11th saw his lead reduced to a single stroke as the daylight began to disappear.

And with his playing partner Baldwin making four birdies in his first 13 holes before the hooter sounded at 18.35 local time, Johannessen had company at the summit overnight.

They will return to complete the back nine at 08.00 on Sunday morning before doing battle in the final round, with both players going in search of their maiden DP World Tour titles.

Baldwin turned in 34 after making two successive birdies at the fifth and sixth, before closing the gap to Johannessen with another gain on the tenth.

He then got his fourth birdie of the day at the 13th to pull along Johannessen at the top of the leaderboard before narrowly missing his birdie putt on the 14th green.

Daniel Brown and Joost Luiten set the clubhouse target at nine under to sit in a tie for third alongside Jens Dantorp.

After playing most of his second round on Saturday morning, Johannessen made a solid start as he returned to the course in the afternoon.

He birdied the second to move to 12 under but surrendered a bogey on the short fourth after missing his lengthy par putt.

Johannessen was able to take advantage of the front nine's next par three - the seventh - though, sending his approach to around 20 feet and pouring in the birdie putt to move three clear.

But as a charging Baldwin followed up his back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth with a further gain on the tenth, a bogey for Johannessen on the 11th meant his lead was reduced to one shot.

And that slender lead vanished altogether when Baldwin sent his approach at the 13th to tap-in range before slotting in for a birdie to join Johannessen on 11 under.

Baldwin narrowly missed his birdie try at the 14th before walking off the course, with a tricky par putt awaiting Johannessen when he returns on Sunday.

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