South Africa's Justin Harding is in pole position to claim back-to-back titles on the same course in the space of six days after opening up a three-shot lead in the Kenya Savannah Classic.

Harding won the Magical Kenya Open at Karen Country Club on Sunday and continued his love affair with the venue by compiling rounds of 64, 66 and 66 to reach 17 under par.

There is a large chasing pack poised behind the 35-year-old, with compatriots Daniel van Tonder and Darren Fichardt, England's Marcus Armitage, Scotland's David Drysdale, Norway's Kristoffer Reitan and Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond all on 14 under.

Irish duo Jonathan Caldwell and Cormac Sharvin look to be out of the running however. Caldwell started the day four shots off the lead but a round of 70 saw him lose ground on the leading pack and he sits on -10 going into the final round. 

Sharvin also signed for a round of 70 to leave him on -6 for the tournament. 

"Maybe it's a bit of a surprise to be three clear because I feel like I struggled a bit out there," Harding said after a round containing eight birdies and three bogeys.

"I couldn't seem to give myself a good number from the fairway and when you're playing at altitude sometimes it's hard to get the club selection right.

"After I bogeyed 14 unnecessarily it was anyone's game, I was just happy with the way I finished (with three birdies in the last four holes) and I just gave myself a chance."

Reitan had looked set to be contesting the lead when he raced to the turn in 29 and also birdied the 10th and 11th, but then dropped four shots in the space of four holes from the 13th.

Drysdale is seeking a first European Tour win in his 519th event and kept himself firmly in the hunt with a birdie on the last following dropped shots on the 15th and 16th in his 69.

"Justin's obviously doing great and I told him just there to give us all a chance tomorrow," Drysdale said.

"He's playing very steadily and obviously loves this place but we've got to take advantage of those holes six to 12. There are three or four eagle chances in that part of the golf course."