Erik van Rooyen of South Africa walks off the 18th green at Carnoustie on Saturday after shooting a 71 in the third round of the Open Championship. Photo: Peter Morrison/AP

CARNOUSTIE – South Africa’s leading duo Zander Lombard and Erik van Rooyen lost ground on the leaders in the third round of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links on Saturday.

The two players have shot identical rounds of 67-71-71 to remain on four-under, five behind going into the final round.

The lead is held by a trio of Americans on nine-under as defending champion Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner are tied at the top.

Lombard, though, had a spectacular finish to his round.

After a solid opening nine of one-under, he stumbled with a bogey on 16 and a double on 17.

On 18, however, the 23-year-old holed out with a wedge for eagle with his second to make it back to even for the day. 

Van Rooyen, 28, also went out in one-under. A roller-coaster of a homeward loop, though, awaited the big-hitter.

A birdie at the 10th moved him to two-under for the day, but two bogeys in a row followed from the 12th.

He managed a birdie at the par-five 14th, but two more drops came at 16 and 17.

A solid approach into 18 helped, and he rolled in the six-foot putt for birdie to end his round on a good note.

It meant he had just two pars on his back nine, four bogeys and three birdies.

Both Louis Oosthuizen and Shaun Norris shot 69 to rise to two-under.

Brandon Stone battled his way to two-over 73 to finish on level par with one round remaining.

African News Agency (ANA)