Charl Schwartzel remained tied with a Dane at the top of the Alfred Dunhill Championship as the third round began at Leopard Creek Country Club, but it was Søren Hansen rather than Morten Ørum Madsen.
Last year’s 12 shot winner Schwartzel started the day level with Madsen on eight under par, but while the former Masters Tournament winner birdied the long second from five feet, his playing partner made a bogey-bogey start.
Former Ryder Cup star Hansen only kept his card for this season courtesy of his status as one of The European Tour’s top 40 Career Money earners and has not had a top-ten finish for almost two years, but followed a birdie at the second with an approach to five feet at the next to join Schwartzel on nine under par.
They were two clear of Portugal’s Ricardo Santos, France’s Victor Riu, and English pair Ross Fisher and Richard Finch.
Madsen, who won his first European Tour title at last week’s season-opening South African Open Championship, failed to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the long second and dropped into the chasing pack on six under.
Spain’s Carlos Del Moral had set the clubhouse target at six under after a third round 66.
A superb approach to the eighth left Schwartzel with a tap-in birdie and the 29 year old also holed from six feet on the ninth to improve to 11 under.
That was briefly worth a two shot lead but Riu, Hansen and Finch all picked up birdies of their own to close the gap to a single shot once again.