SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Rasmus Højgaard and Thomas Detry shared the lead at the Nedbank Golf Challenge after a busy day on Saturday when some players had to finish their second rounds and then come straight back out to play the third round.
Rain and lightning had shortened the second day at Sun City, leaving Ryan Fox and European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald in a share of the lead, although they had barely started their second rounds when players were called off because of the weather.
Fox and Donald were dislodged on Saturday as Denmark’s Højgaard and Belgium’s Detry made their way to the top to lead by a shot on 9 under par going into the final day of the penultimate tournament of the European tour season.
Højgaard shot a third straight 3-under 69 of the tournament. Detry surged up the leaderboard to join him with a second straight 67.
There’s a group of home players one shot behind and chasing them at Gary Player Country Club. Branden Grace, the 2017 champion and only South African to win at Sun City in the last 15 years, pulled off a sparkling second-round of 67 and shot 71 in the third round to move into a share of second on 8 under.
Compatriot Thriston Lawrence (65) is alongside him while Christiaan Bezuidenhout (68) shares fifth with Donald.
Donald had looked to be building a strong challenge for his first European tour title in a decade after an opening 65. But the Englishman struggled in his third round with three bogeys and only two birdies to card 73. But at 7 under overall he’s still only two off the lead on a tightly packed leaderboard.
New Zealand’s Fox, who has hopes of catching Rory McIlroy at the top of the European tour season rankings, also didn’t capitalize on a fabulous 64 in the first round. He shot 74 and then 72 on Saturday to be in a tie for seventh on 6 under. McIlroy isn’t playing at the Nedbank Challenge.
Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood is also tied for seventh. Fleetwood won in 2019 but is defending his title as the Nedbank Challenge was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The season will come to a close with the World Tour Championship in Dubai next week.
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