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Ross moves into pole position as Kruger sets course record in Bloemfontein

Ross moves into pole position as Kruger sets course record in Bloemfontein

Craig Ross of Scotland holds a one-shot lead at the Mangaung Open, ahead of Jbe Kruger who carded a course record 61 before round three was suspended overnight due to thunder and lightning.

Craig Ross

The 29-year-old, who has two holes left to play in round three, carded five birdies and two eagles to get to a 19 under par total before play was brought to a halt at Bloemfontein Golf Club.

It rounded up a good day for his home nation, with Scots leading overnight on both the European Challenge Tour and DP World Tour, after Ewen Ferguson raced to a four-shot advantage at the Magical Kenya Open.

Ross was delighted to see his countryman at the top of the leaderboard in Kenya, and to emulate Ferguson by carrying a lead into the final day.

“I’m delighted for Ewen,” said Ross. “I wish him all the best for the final round because he’s a great guy and he did so well to get off the Challenge Tour last year. I hope we can both finish the week with a victory.”

Kruger shares second place with Spaniard Scott Fernandez on 18 under par, while South African Luke Jerling, who has five holes left to play in round three, is a shot further back on 17 under.

Kruger, who grew up in Bloemfontein, was delighted to set the 11 under par record at his local course and admits it would mean everything for him to pick up the trophy in front of his home fans.

“I am so happy because I can finally get my name on a course record,” he said. “I know the course very well but I was battling to read the greens over the first couple of days. I couldn’t remember the lines but slowly it came back and I hit the ball very well today. If you hit fairways and greens then it becomes a lot easier.

“I can’t describe in words how much it would mean to me to win here because this is my town. It would be a tremendous victory for me personally because it has been a tough battle.”

Spaniard Alejandro Del Rey and South African duo Tristen Strydom and Louis Albertse share fifth place on 16 under par, while Irishman John Murphy, round two leader MJ Viljoen, and South African’s Keenan Davidse and Deon Germishuys share eighth place on 15 under.

Round three was suspended at 5.01pm and will restart at 7am on Sunday March 6. The final round will not start before 8:30am local time.

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