Johannesburg – Tjaart van der Walt racked up eight birdies on his way to a seven-under-par 65 two-stroke lead after the third round of the Cape Town Open on Saturday.
His scorecard was flawless until a dropped shot on the 15th at the end of a notoriously difficult stretch at Royal Cape Golf Club, but he kept it together for the rest of the round to edge ahead of Hennie Otto who lead the tournament until the halfway mark.
“I putted well today,” Van der Walt said as he reflected on a game which came together and moved him to a 13-under 203.
“I think I had one chip-in, one putt from off the green – 23 putts, 24, technically – but I saw the lines and managed to make good strokes.”
His 65 came on top of two solid three-under-par 69s.
He chased down Otto, who held a four-stroke lead overnight, within three holes as Otto made two bogeys and Van der Walt made two birdies as they set out.
Van der Walt had an outstanding front nine: He made three birdies in a row twice – from the second to the fourth, and then the sixth to the eighth – and he very nearly made birdie on nine to turn in 29.
“I had a good feeling the whole day,” he said.
Otto was not at his best but still managed to bring it home in one-under for a total of 11-under. His card included five birdies and an eagle, but six bogeys dotted all over his scorecard at regular intervals hampered his progress.
He was three strokes clear of Jared Harvey who carded a fine 68 to move into third.
Doug McGuigan and Justin Harding were in a share of fourth at six-under-par 210.
Round of the day came from Gert Myburgh, who played his third round on his own after being the 73rd player to make the cut. His six-under-par 66 in the early morning vaulted him all the way from 73rd to a share of eighth ahead of Sunday’s final round. – Sapa