At nine under for the day the 34 year old, a seven-time winner on the co-sanctioning Sunshine Tour, had joined his fellow South African in a share of the lead and with six holes to play needed to pick up four more shots for a historic first 59 in European Tour history.
However, he could not do so, missing a short putt for birdie at 15 and a longer one at 17 for the only dropped shot of his round before carding an eight under 64 to be one shot behind Schwartzel, who was soon joined as leader by Marco Crespi. The Italian Qualifying School graduate birdied the second as Schwartzel parred the first.
Former Masters Tournament winner Schwartzel has won four of his eight European Tour titles on home soil, although he was looking to win his National Open for the first time.
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