Daniel Young is emerging as an early contender to continue Scotland’s recent rich vein of success on the Challenge Tour after maintaining his strong start to the new season in South Africa.
The Kingsbarns Pro Academy player sits joint-fifth heading into the final round of the RAM Cape Town Open, having cemented his lofty position on the leaderboard with a three-under-par 69.
Young, who opened the new campaign with a top-20 finish in the Limpopo Championship last weekend at the start of a new South African Swing, illuminated his card with an eagle-3 at the 11th at Royal Cape Golf Club.
On nine-under, he lies five shots off the lead, held by home player Daniel Van Tonder, with Young, who won the South African Amateur Championship in 2015, understandably pleased with another good day’s work.
“I played really solid again,” said Young, who won on the PGA EuroPro Tour in Aviemore last year. “The wind got up with around 10-11 holes to go, so that made the back nine quite tricky, with the greens firming up a bit, too.”
On that eagle, he added: “I hit a great drive back into the wind down 11 and then followed it with a 3-iron to around eight feet and rolled her in, which was a nice way to start the back nine.”
Young, who lost to Bob MacIntyre in the final of the 2015 Scottish Amateur Championship at Muirfield, talked after the second round about how a “simple” approach to things had been paying dividends and he said nothing will change in the final circuit.
“The game plan is the same as it’s been all week,” he said.
“I’ll just go out, play another round of golf and enjoy myself. Then we’ll see where it gets me by the end of play.”
On a day when Van Tonder also carded a 69 to lead by two shots from compatriot Luke Jerling, Euan Walker, the only other Scot to make the cut, made four birdies in a 70 to sit joint-42nd on three-under.
Elsewhere, Australia’s Min Woo Lee will take a three-shot lead into the final day of the ISPS Handa Vic Open after carding an impressive 68 in high winds at 13th Beach Club in Geelong.
The 21-year-old, who is bidding to land his maiden professional win on home soil, closed with an eagle to move to 15-under-par, giving him a cushion over two other Australians, Marcus Fraser and Travis Smyth.
“It was probably one of the best rounds I’ve ever played regardless of the score,” Min Woo told the European Tour website.
“I’ve hit it pretty solid. There were a couple of shots that were bad but that happens in 50-kilometre winds so I’m pretty happy and should be proud of the way I played.”
Australia-based Scot Robbie Morrison, who came through a qualifier to earn his European Tour debut, missed the 54-hole cut after struggling to an 83, which left him on six-over.
In the women’s event running concurrently, Korea’s Ayean Cho shot a two-under 70 to take a one-stroke lead over Swede Madelene Sagstrom (74). Overnight leader Sagstrom said: “I knew it was going to be difficult coming in, it was going to be a grind today.”