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.
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.
Englishman Daniel Brown and Dutchman Joost Luiten set the clubhouse target at nine under to sit in a tie for third alongside Swede Jens Dantorp, who has four holes of his third round to play.
Luiten and Brown both managed to finish their rounds with respective 67s, although Luiten felt he could’ve done better than his 67 on a day when his putter held him back.
“It was a good 11 holes and then the putter just went cold on the last seven holes. I gave myself a lot of chances and nothing went in so I’m a bit annoyed with that. I hit the ball lovely but it’s hard to hole putts on these greens. You’ve got to stay patient.
“No bogeys on the scorecard is good. It was a good day overall. You know, five under on the Saturday is always a good score. But I think it could’ve been a couple better. I just need to see if I can drop some putts in the final round and put some pressure on the leaders.”
Brown , who eagled the sixth hole and birdied the third, eighth and 11th, said: “It was really solid. I didn’t do a lot wrong and it was just really steady. I still had 11 holes to go this morning and then I just kept feeling confident. It’s been pretty tough this week with the stop-start rounds. But it’s going to be nice to have the buzz of having a chance in the final round.”