Hend still in hunt for Kenya Open crown

Australian veteran Scott Hend has slipped back from joint leadership of the Kenya Open but is still just two off the lead going into the final round in Nairobi.

Globetrotting Australian veteran Scott Hend is still within striking distance of his first European Tour title in two years as he goes into the final round of the Kenya Open in Nairobi.

The 47-year-old Queenslander had a mid-round slip on Saturday which saw him surrender his overnight joint lead at Karen Country Club but he was still left joint-second, just two off the lead, following a three-under par 68 in the third round.

South African Justin Harding leads the way on 13-under after firing a 64 with Hend on 11-under alongside American pair Kurt Kitayama and Johannes Veerman.

The big-hitting Hend has been making plenty of birdies all tournament and made it a total of 18 for the week, as well as one eagle, after Saturday's 'moving day'.

Joint leader overnight with Finland's Kalle Samooja, who slipped back in the field after a 72, Hend began solidly, before exploding with an eagle at the sixth, the first par-five hole.

Two more birdies quickly followed as he went out in four-under 31 but he recorded bogeys at both the par-four 10th and par-five 11th - holes that he'd birdied on both Thursday and Friday.

With his momentum gone, the Townsville man did well to eke out a birdie at the 17th to keep Harding in his sights.

Hend is delighted to be back in a title shake-up after admitting in post-second round interview on Friday following his day's best 64 that he had been playing "crap" all year.

"I'm finally starting to turn it round," said the man who's slumped to 383 in the world rankings and has missed seven cuts in his last eight events.

The well-travelled Hend, who's been a regular winner in Asia down the years but is seeking his first title since the Malaysian Championship two years ago, will be chasing another player who seems to be rediscovering his best - 35-year-old Harding.

The South African had a spectacular seven-under par round, the highlight being a holed wedge shot for eagle at the 10th.

Harding is trying to recapture the form that saw him claim five wins in nine months two years ago, enter the world's top 50 and earn an invitation to the Masters.

Since then, he's slipped to world number 195 but has now put himself in pole position to win his second European Tour title.

Star of the day was American Veerman, who broke the course record with a 62.