Baldwin tops Luiten as he targets SDC Euro Tour title

Baldwin tops Luiten as he targets SDC Euro Tour title
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Matthew Baldwin has fired four birdies in the first 13 holes of his third round to join Kristian Krogh Johannessen at the top of the SDC Championship leaderboard before play was suspended due to darkness on Saturday evening.

The pair are two shots clear of joint clubhouse leaders England’s Daniel Brown and Dutchman Joost Luiten, who set the target at nine under in the European Tour event in South Africa on Saturday .

Baldwin had been four shots off the pace at the halfway stage but made back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth before picking up further shots on the 10th and 13th to grab a share of the lead on 11 under.

The 37-year-old, who is searching for his maiden European Tour title, narrowly missed his birdie try on the 14th before fading light brought a halt to proceedings.

He will return to the course to complete the back nine early on Sunday before beginning the fourth round.

Norwegian Johannessen had held a three-shot lead at the tournament’s midway point 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 strokes early in the third round after picking up a birdie at the second to reach 12 under.

But the 28-year-old gave the shot back at the fourth, and even though he birdied the par-three seventh, 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 sending his approach shot at the 13th to within tap-in range before making a birdie there, Johannessen had company at the top.

Johannessen has a par putt waiting for him when the third round resumes.

Brown and Luiten are on the same score as Swede Jens Dantorp in a tie for third.

The second round had featured two holes-in-one on the 17th, with England’s Dan Bradbury and South African Wynand Dingle both making aces.

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