Henning Out Front Entering Final Round in Swaziland


Sunshine TourAt the end of a dynamic battle with overnight leader James Loughnane of Ireland, Nic Henning claimed a two shot lead in the third round of the $43,000 Royal Swazi Sun Open Saturday.
'I had a scrappy round, having to fight for a lot of my birdies,' said the slightly built Henning after his round.
'The heat made the greens bumpier than the last two days, so the conditions were ideal for lower scoring. I am satisfied with my round, but I feel could have done better.'
After the wet conditions of the first two rounds, players at the Royal Swazi Sun Country Club took advantage of the heightened temperatures on Day 3 that shortened the course and left it open for birdies and eagles.
Henning, who had done everything right to keep himself in contention over the first two days, started one shot back from second-round leader, James Loughnane. Posting four birdies within his first five holes, Henning drew all square with the Irishman, who parred through the first four before holing an eagle on the par-5 fifth. Henning dropped his first shot at the par-4 eighth, where he missed the fairway left to open the door for Loughnane. The 32-year-old collected another birdie on the sixth and then parred his way in for an outward 32. At the 10th things took a turn for the worse for Loughnane. Starting with a birdie after the turn, he double bogeyed the par-4 11th and dropped a further shot at the par-4 13th.
Henning retaliated with a birdie on the par-3 14th but lost a shot at the par-4 16th, when his 7-iron approach flew over the back of the green. Meanwhile Loughnane, who parred Nos. 13 through 17, suffered a bogey at the final hole to drop to 12-under-par 204 and is joint second with Andrew McLardy, with 18 holes to play. Henning parred the final hole to add a 4-under-par 68, pushing his tally to 14-under-par 202, two strokes ahead of Loughnane and Andrew McLardy. McLardy, who produced a superb bogey-free round of 63 to place him in second with Loughnane, is likely the most obvious threat going into the final day.
'I haven't played in Swaziland for about four years, and the course is as good as I have ever seen it,' said McLardy.
'The greens are superb. I didn't get it close enough on the first two days, but today things kind of came together. It's really nice to dig deep and see the reward'.
Andre Cruse, Richard Sterne and Bradley Davison are one stroke back at 11-under-par 205, with Brett Liddle at 10-under-par 206.