Reuters - South African Charl Schwartzel shot a third successive four under par 68 for a 12 under par total of 204 to take a two stroke lead over England's Lee Westwood and Mark Pilkington of Wales into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club.
Pilkington, who won the European Challenge Tour Rankings just a few weeks ago, and South African Des Terblanche made up the most ground on 2004 winner Schwartzel, shooting seven under par 65s, while Westwood shot a five under par 67, dropping a potentially important stroke on the 18th when his second failed to make the island green. Terblanche roared into fourth place on nine under par with a bogey-free round which featured two eagles.
Westwood was pleased with his comeback, having overcome a first round of 73. He said: "I gave Charl a nine shot start over the first ten holes so if I can keep playing as well as I have then I must have a chance of catching him.
"I hit a lot of good irons and drives and the shots were not too bad either for the three bogeys. On the fourth I was plugged in the face of the bunker, on five I three putted and on 18 I just pushed a three iron a bit. But I played solid golf. I just missed a lot of putts which was frustrating, but I didn't panic."
Schwartzel, who led England's Oliver Wilson and Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello by two strokes at the start of the day, battled through his most inconsistent round of the tournament with five birdies, an eagle and three bogeys.
"It was an up-and-down round, but I generally hit the ball where I wanted," Schwartzel said. "I stumbled a bit in the middle, but I said at the start of the week that if I could shoot four 68s I would be very close to winning."
Cabrera Bello shot a five over par 77 on Saturday to slide down to 31st position on one under, while Wilson struggled to an even par 72 and remains on six under for the tournament.
Terblanche went the other way and said he was surprised by how quickly he had risen up the leaderboard.
World Number Seven Els shot a three under par 69 and is nine strokes behind Schwartzel.