Louis de Jager. shares the lead after round three at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Photo: Sunshine Tour

South Africa’s Louis de Jager joined the lead of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Saturday as he fired a bogey-free four-under-par 67 at Heritage Golf Club in difficult gusting winds.

He joined the man who led for two rounds, India’s Arjun Atwal, on a total of 13-under-par. That out the duo one ahead of the looming threat posed by the in-form South African Dylan Frittelli and Miguel Tibuena of the Philippines.

“I’m very pleased with my efforts,” said De Jager, who last made a bogey on the 13th hole in the second round. “It was really tough out there today. The wind was very strong and there were some good pin positions, so I’m really pleased with the score.”

With the wind gusting as strongly as it was, the three-time Sunshine Tour winner certainly had cause to be pleased, as Atwal, who set a course-record 62 in the opening round, dropped shots on the fourth and the 18th to let De Jager join him in front of the field.

“It’s always a goal to keep bogeys off the card,” said De Jager. “You know you can hit good shots and still make bogey, so when there are none on the card, it’s really pleasing.

“I felt really composed. I was quite cool and calm out there. I didn’t hit the ball as well as the first two days but my short game really saved me today, and my putter really saved me inside the eight-foot range. I made a few crucial putts that really kept me in the tournament.”

While De Jager’s four-under was impressive, a trio of South Africans, who started earlier in the day in conditions a little more benign, reeled off five-under-par 67s. Doug McGuigan, Jean-Paul Strydom and Haydn Porteous all moved to seven-under for the tournament, and while that may be a little far back from the lead, they will look to repeat the dose in the final round.

Frittelli, however, is within one of the lead after his 68, even though he too had his battles with the wind. “I probably had eight or 10 putts where I read the putts perfectly then had to adjust for the wind,” he said. “I thought the wind was going to hit it and most of the time it didn’t, so it was a bit tricky there. I think tomorrow I’ll try to hit it a bit closer and make it easier for the putter.”

Tibuena found the wind made the course too tight for him to use his driver as much as he would have liked on his way to a level-par 71. “It looked easy but it really isn’t,” he said. “There are holes which can bite you. I didn’t take advantage of the par fives and I’m not happy about that.”

For De Jager, in a share of the lead going into the final round of a 72-hole event for the first time, his final round is going to be about drinking in the experience. “It’s going to be my first time in the final group in a co-sanctioned tournament,” he said. “I’m going to cherish the moment. I’m looking forward to it and I’m going to go out there and give it my all.”
 
Scores:
200 - Louis de Jager 66 67 67, Arjun Atwal 62 70 68
201 - Miguel Tabuena 66 68 67, Dylan Frittelli 67 66 68
203 - Romain Langasque 67 69 67, Justin Walters 68 66 69, Jose-Filipe Lima 68 66 69
204 - Ricardo Gouveia 68 68 68
205 - Joel Stalter 67 68 70, Oliver Bekker 67 67 71, Laurie Canter 67 66 72
206 - Doug McGuigan 69 71 66, Jean-Paul Strydom 71 69 66, Haydn Porteous 69 71 66, George Coetzee 67 71 68, Shiv Kapur 69 69 68, Matthieu Pavon 69 68 69, Darren Fichardt 70 66 70, Louis Oosthuizen 67 68 71, Mark Williams 69 66 71
207 - Masahiro Kawamura 68 70 69, Jinho Choi 71 66 70, Ockie Strydom 66 68 73
208 - Gaganjeet Bhullar 70 71 67, Casey O'Toole 68 72 68, Neil Schietekat 70 70 68, Scott Vincent 70 70 68
209 - Carlos Pigem 73 68 68, Dean Burmester 71 70 68, Sam Horsfield 68 72 69, Jbe' Kruger 67 72 70, Phachara Khongwatmai 71 68 70, Paul Peterson 70 69 70, S S P Chawrasia 69 67 73
210 - Jacques Blaauw 71 70 69, Richard Mcevoy 68 73 69, Peter Karmis 73 67 70, Ashun Wu 72 68 70, Nico Geyger 71 69 70, Marcel Schneider 72 66 72, Pep Angles 68 69 73, Andrea Pavan 68 69 73
211 - Pontus Widegren 67 74 70, Suradit Yongcharoenchai 69 71 71, Shubankar Sharma 68 72 71, Sebastian Heisele 66 73 72, Jeff Winther 71 68 72, Marcus Kinhult 67 72 72, Sutijet Kooratanapisan 76 62 73, Adilson Da Silva 66 71 74, Anders Hansen 67 69 75
212 - Ashley Chesters 72 69 71, Scott Fernandez 73 68 71, Steven Brown 73 68 71, Jacques Kruyswijk 68 72 72, Jens Dantorp 70 70 72, Jason Knutzon 67 73 72
213 - Lyle Rowe 72 69 72, Christiaan Basson 72 69 72, Jack Harrison 71 69 73, Clement Sordet 70 69 74, Jarin Todd 68 69 76
214 - Pedro Oriol 71 70 73, Jaco Prinsloo 69 68 77
215 - Pavit Tangkamolprasert 72 69 74
216 - Johannes Veerman 69 72 75 

African News Agency 

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