George Coetzee leads by two going into final day at Tshwane Open

England’s Sam Horsfield and Finland’s Mikko Korhonen are Coetzee’s nearest challengers on 12 under

George Coetzee of South Africa plays a putt during the third round of the Tshwane Open Golf tournament played at Pretoria Golf Course, South Africa, 03 March 2018. Photo: Catherine Kotze/EPA

George Coetzee of South Africa plays a putt during the third round of the Tshwane Open Golf tournament played at Pretoria Golf Course, South Africa, 03 March 2018. Photo: Catherine Kotze/EPA

 

Pre-tournament favourite George Coetzee put himself in pole position to claim a second Tshwane Open title at his home course after opening up a two-shot lead heading into the final round.

Coetzee has been a member at Pretoria Country Club since taking up the sport and put his local knowledge to good use to card a third round of 68 and reach 14 under par.

England’s Sam Horsfield and Finland’s Mikko Korhonen are Coetzee’s nearest challengers on 12 under, Horsfield surging through the field with a flawless 64 - the lowest round of the day — and Korhonen returning a 69.

“I’m happy with a two-shot lead,” Coetzee told europeantour.com, despite a bogey on the 18th after his drive finished behind a tree. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Playing in front of a home crowd is what it’s all about. 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. 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.”

Horsfield, who came through all three stages of the European Tour’s qualifying school and won the final by eight shots, held the outright lead after birdies on the first four holes and further gains on the ninth, 11th and 12th before settling for six straight pars to finish.

“When I was seven under through 12 I just tried to stay in my zone,” the 21-year-old said. “I was playing with Matt Baldwin and I know him pretty well. We played together at Q-School and we just had fun out there.

“I think everyone just wants to get themselves into contention and I’ve done that, so tomorrow’s going to be a fun day. I had a good week at Q-School, so when I get into contention, I can look back on something like that.”

Scotland’s Scott Jamieson is four shots off the lead after a third round of 67, with Felipe Aguilar, Thomas Aiken and Erik van Rooyen alongside Jamieson on 10 under.

Latest third round scores in the Tshwane Open, Pretoria CC, South Africa (Britain & Irl unless stated, par 71):

199 George Coetzee (Rsa) 67 64 68

201 Sam Horsfield 68 69 64, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 68 64 69

203 Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 65 67 71, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 65 71 67, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 68 68 67, Scott Jamieson 67 69 67

205 Daniel Van Tonder (Rsa) 67 72 66, Adilson Da Silva (Bra) 67 72 66, Sebastien Gros (Fra) 69 70 66, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 66 72 67, Victor Perez (Fra) 69 68 68

206 Laurie Canter 73 64 69, Connor Syme 70 68 68, Matthew Carvell (Rsa) 69 69 68, Scott Vincent (Zim) 68 69 69, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 69 69 68, Jens Dantorp (Swe) 70 69 67, 207 Hennie Otto (Rsa) 69 70 68, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 68 69 70, Matthew Baldwin 68 69 70

208 Ockie Strydom (Rsa) 73 65 70, Ryan Evans 69 71 68, David Howell 70 70 68, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 67 69 72, JJ Senekal (Rsa) 67 72 69, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 64 71 73, Jean Hugo (Rsa) 69 71 68

209 Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 67 68 74, Jacques Blaauw (Rsa) 71 69 69, JC Ritchie (Rsa) 68 67 74, Christofer Blomstrand (Swe) 69 68 72, Clement Sordet (Fra) 68 68 73, Danny Willett 70 68 71, Morten Orum Madsen (Den) 69 71 69, Jin-ho Choi (Kor) 67 70 72, Jeff Winther (Den) 67 72 70, Daniel Greene (Rsa) 70 71 68, Justin Walters (Rsa) 67 68 74

210 Alex Haindl (Rsa) 69 69 72, Toby Tree 70 69 71, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 70 70 70, Tyrone Ryan (Rsa) 71 70 69, Jaco Prinsloo (Rsa) 68 69 73, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 67 73 70, Soomin Lee (Kor) 71 70 69

211 Julian Suri (USA) 65 74 72, (a) Kyle McClatchie (Rsa) 69 72 70, Peter Karmis (Rsa) 69 70 72, Breyten Meyer (Rsa) 67 72 72, Pedro Oriol (Spa) 71 69 71, Patrick Newcomb (USA) 67 72 72, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 68 72 71, Julien Quesne (Fra) 73 68 70

212 Tjaart Van Der Walt (Rsa) 71 71 70, Combrinck Smit (Rsa) 66 70 76, Dawie Van Der Walt (Rsa) 72 68 72, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 69 72 71, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 72 66 74

213 Lyle Rowe (Rsa) 70 71 72, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 68 70 75, Madalitso Muthiya (Zam) 72 69 72

214 Hennie Du Plessis (Rsa) 69 70 75, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 67 71 76, Charlie Ford 72 68 74, Christopher Mivis (Bel) 67 74 73, Jonathan Thomson 68 73 73, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 69 72 73

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