South African George Coetzee posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday and will enter the final round of the Tshwane Open sitting atop the leaderboard at 14-under par, two shots clear of Sam Horsfield and Mikko Korhonen.
Coetzee, who is a member of Pretoria Country Club, took advantage of the nooks and crannies of the tight par-71 track to sign for a card with five birdies against two bogeys.
“Happy with a two-shot lead. I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” said Coetzee, who owns three European Tour wins, all on native African soil (Joburg, Tshwane, AfrAsia).
“I’m quite happy with the way I played today. 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.
“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.”
England’s Horsfield reeled off five birdies in his first eight holes en route to a career-low 64 and a three-day total of 12-under par, good for T2, alongside Korhonen of Finland, who birdied four of his last seven holes to post a 69.
Chilean Felipe Aguilar, South African duo Thomas Aiken and Erik van Rooyen, and Scotland’s Scott Jamieson followed at 10 under.
1 George Coetzee -14
2 Sam Horsfield -12
2 Mikko Korhonen -12
4 Thomas Aiken -10
4 Erik van Rooyen -10
4 Scott Jamieson -10
4 Felipe Aguilar -10
8 Adilson da Silva -8
8 Sebastien Gros -8
8 Danie van Tonder -8
8 Shaun Norris -8
54-hole leader George Coetzee throws a dart on the par-4 15th hole, setting up a tap in birdie.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) March 3, 2018
“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.”
– George Coetzee
Credits: European Tour Media, Getty Images