George Coetzee holds a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Tshwane Open at at Pretoria Country Club on Sunday. Photo: Sunshine Tour
PRETORIA – George Coetzee bogied his final hole of the third round of the Tshwane Open on Saturday at Pretoria Country Club, but he still managed to card a three-under-par 68 to move into a two-stroke lead ahead of the final round.

He pushed his tee shot to the right, and instead of risking damaging a club – and himself – by going for the green on the par-five closer, he chipped out sideways. His third shot came up short, and his fourth scooted 20 feet past the hole. He missed the par putt, but was nonetheless two clear of Sam Horsfield of England and Finland’s Miko Korhonen.

Despite that, he was content with his third-round showing. “I’m quite happy with the way I played today,” he said. “The front nine wasn’t that great. I felt like I was trying to control everything, but I felt like I loosened up and played pretty nicely from nine onwards.”

He started well, with a birdie on the second, but he handed that shot right back with a bogey on three. He birdied nine and 10 around the turn, and looked to be cruising to a much bigger lead as he made gains on 12 and 15.

Behind him, Horsfield’s was the round of the day. He made seven birdies and didn’t drop a shot on his way to a seven-under 64. But, when he started with four consecutive birdies, he would have thought he might have gone even lower.

“The back nine is definitely tougher with fewer birdie opportunities,” said Horsfield. “I made a good birdie on 11 and then birdied 12, the par-five, and then just sort of just hung on coming down the stretch. When I was seven-under through 12, I actually just tried to stay in my zone.”

Korhonen, who finished second in the event last year, struggled with his game, making two bogies in a barren stretch which lasted until the 12th hole when he made his first birdie. “I struggled in the beginning big-time,” he said. “I wasn’t really confident, I wasn’t really there, but it started going better on the back nine.

“I just had to regroup, just play my game as I have been doing the last couple of days. I just had to trust that it would come,” he said. He picked up four birdies in the final seven holes on his way to two-under 69.

The challenge for those two in the final round is to deal with Coetzee on his home course in front of his home fans. “Playing in front of a home crowd is what it’s all about,” he said. “I hope I can do something special in front of all the guys tomorrow.

“I shouldn’t actually think of anything tomorrow – just try and play some good golf tomorrow. It will be hard to take the win out of the picture, but I’ll try my best to just go out and play some good golf.”

Scores:
199 - George Coetzee 67 64 68
201 - Sam Horsfield 68 69 64, Mikko Korhonen 68 64 69
203 - Thomas Aiken 65 71 67, Scott Jamieson 67 69 67, Erik van Rooyen 68 68 67, Felipe Aguilar 65 67 71
205 - Sebastien Gros 69 70 66, Adilson Da Silva 67 72 66, Daniel van Tonder 67 72 66, Shaun Norris 66 72 67, Victor Perez 69 68 68
206 - Jens Dantorp 70 69 67, Connor Syme 70 68 68, Jacques Kruyswijk 69 69 68, Matthew Carvell 69 69 68, Scott Vincent 68 69 69, Laurie Canter 73 64 69
207 - Hennie Otto 69 70 68, Bryce Easton 68 69 70, Matthew Baldwin 68 69 70
208 - Jean Hugo 69 71 68, David Howell 70 70 68, Ryan Evans 69 71 68, JJ Senekal 67 72 69, Ockie Strydom 73 65 70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 67 69 72, Louis de Jager 64 71 73
209 - Daniel Greene 70 71 68, Morten Orum Madsen 69 71 69, Jacques Blaauw 71 69 69, Jeff Winther 67 72 70, Danny Willett 70 68 71, Christofer Blomstrand 69 68 72, Jinho Choi 67 70 72, Clement Sordet 68 68 73, JC Ritchie 68 67 74, Ricardo Gouveia 67 68 74, Justin Walters 67 68 74
210 - Soomin Lee 71 70 69, Tyrone Ryan 71 70 69, Haydn Porteous 70 70 70, Richard Sterne 67 73 70, Toby Tree 70 69 71, Alex Haindl 69 69 72, Jaco Prinsloo 68 69 73
211 - Tjaart van der Walt 71 70 70, Julien Quesne 73 68 70, Kyle McClatchie 69 72 70, Pedro Oriol 71 69 71, Matthias Schwab 68 72 71, Julian Suri 65 74 72, Peter Karmis 69 70 72, Patrick Newcomb 67 72 72, Breyten Meyer 67 72 72
212 - Julien Guerrier 69 72 71, Dawie Van der Walt 72 68 72, Lorenzo Gagli 72 66 74, Combrinck Smit 66 70 76
213 - Madalitso Muthiya 72 69 72, Lyle Rowe 70 71 72, Gregory Bourdy 68 70 75
214 - Darren Fichardt 68 73 73, Jonathan Thomson 68 73 73, Benjamin Hebert 69 72 73, Christopher Mivis 67 74 73, Charlie Ford 72 68 74, Hennie du Plessis 69 70 75, Maximilian Kieffer 67 71 76
215 - Robin Sciot-Siegrist 67 74 74
216 - Grant Forrest 70 70 76
217 - Toto Thimba 70 71 76
219 - Mark Williams 70 71 78 

African News Agency

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