Cape Town - James Kingston continued his love affair with Plettenberg
Bay Country Club on moving day to open up a commanding lead as he targets his
first victory in the SA Senior Open, hosted by Bitou Municipality.
In a career spanning 31 years, Kingston’s trophy case in
Rustenburg is packed with silverware from 18 victories worldwide, but he is
relishing the chance to bag his first trophy in the senior ranks in the
Sunshine Senior Tour’s flagship event.
The 53-year-old returned an even-par 72 that featured
four birdies and bogeys apiece. With strong wind forecast for the final round,
the eight-shot cushion on six-under over two-time former champion Mark McNulty
could prove valuable.
“Obviously it is nice to have a bit of a lead, but that’s
not something I’ll be consciously thinking about,” said Kingston.
approach the final round the same way I’ve played every other round. I won’t
change me game plan or play less aggressively. I will just keep doing what I’ve
Only three players managed to post sub-par rounds on
Thursday but Kingston was not surprised.
“We had a lot of wind over the first two days, and the
greens have firmed up quite a bit and with a lot of tough pin positions, it was
difficult to get close enough to the flags to score,” said Kingston.
scores today certainly reflect the conditions.”
Plettenberg Bay and the host course holds fond memories
for Kingston and the former SA Open champion looks forward to creating another
special moment in this corner of the Southern Cape on Friday.
“We used to come down here on holiday all the time when I
was a laaitie and I just love Plett. I know lots of people here and I really
love this course. It’s is one of South Africa’s hidden gems. To win my first SA
Senior Open title here will definitely be special,” he said.
McNulty, 66, did well to keep pace with Kingston over the
first nine holes, but his crusade took a major hit with a double bogey six on
the 12th, followed by a triple bogey on the short 13th. He signed for a 76 to
retain second place on two-over.
Reigning Sunshine Senior Tour Order of Merit leader Kevin Stone has been the
picture of consistency and moved to third on three-over with three successive
rounds of 73.
Lincoln (71), Andre Cruse (72), Mike Quinn (76) and England’s Neil Cheetham
(71) are a further stroke adrift in a tie for fourth.
- Sunshine Tour