Lusaka - Neil Schietekat carded a three-under-par 70 on the Lusaka Golf Club layout on Saturday to move to nine-under-par and the 54-hole lead of the Zambia Sugar Open.

He shared the lead with second-round leader Ulrich van den Berg, who recovered from a poor opening nine and fought back to finish one-under for his round.

Schietekat and Van den Berg were one stroke clear of Lyle Rowe, who had the round of the day with a seven-under-par 66, and rookie Haydn Porteous who battled his way into contention with his three-under-par 70.

“You’ve got four par-fives on the back nine,” said Schietekat of the 6,608-metre par-72 Lusaka Golf Club.

“So you kind of relax a bit on that side because you know there are scoring opportunities.

“But I hit it close – very close – on the back nine and I just didn’t make anything. I could have been six- or seven-under, but I suppose everyone can say they’ve missed a lot of putts on these greens,” said Schietekat.

The greens are small, and hard, and are a big challenge to all the professionals.

“It was a very tough day out there today,” said Van den Berg.

“The greens are crusty and it wasn’t easy to score out there.”

Rowe, meanwhile, was pleased with his third round performance.

“It’s very nice to shoot a low round for a change,” said Rowe.

“I’ve been playing well, but things haven’t been going my way really. So that’s why the frustration was there.

“Today, I just kept the ball in the right places and I had to putt well to shoot a good score.”