Saturday, 16 January 2016
Day 3 highlights - Joburg Open

Anthony Wall will go in search of a second European Tour title on Sunday at the Joburg Open - 16 years and one day after he won his first.

The Englishman claimed his only victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in 2000 and exactly 16 years later he fired a blemish-free 68 to take a share of the lead at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

To take the title, however, he will have to overcome South African duo Zander Lombard and Haydn Porteous who are both also 15 under, two shots clear of Jacques Blaauw, Paul Dunne, Daniel Im and Ross McGowan.

Lombard shared the low round of the day with Im as two closing birdies helped him to a 65  while Porteous also finished birdie-birdie in a 68.

Wall secured his place at the 2015 Open Championship with a second-placed finish here last year and could do so again with the top three non-exempt players in the top ten claiming a place in the field at Royal Troon.

And with Ernie Els and David Howell, the highest placed exempt players, eight off the lead, this is a golden opportunity to get to the third Major Championship of the year.

While all the field will be desperate to get to Scotland next summer, the achievement may mean more to Dunne who held a share of the 54-hole lead at St Andrews as an amateur last year.

For Wall, it is a win that matters, although he admits his mentality has changed massively in the last 16 years.

"That's why I play golf now," he said. "To try and make my children proud of me, to try and win as many times as possible.

"At the end of the day I'm father now before I am a golfer, that switched a few years ago and I just want ot keep playing for them and my wife so they can be proud of me."

On his round, he added: "I drove the ball well. That was my weakness the first two days, today I was great off the tee. I holed a couple of good long ones, but I also missed three or four I could have holed, so all-in-all it was a good day.

I've got a great chance tomorrow. But they're all good players, someone's going to be a little luckier tomorrow and win, so hopefully it's me - Anthony Wall

Porteous made a brilliant start as he holed  a bunker shot on the first for eagle to get within one but McGowan, playing in the group behind and holding a three-shot overnight lead, holed from five feet for birdie.

Im had made the big move of the morning, birdieing the first, sixth, eighth, 11th and 12th to get into a tie for fourth after 12 holes.

McGowan left his tee shot at the lengthy par three second short and then needed two putts to drop back to 14 under as Dunne, having made a birdie on the first, had three in a row from the fifth to get within one of the leader.

Im's fantastic run continued on the 13th as the Qualifying School graduate made it three birdies in a row to get within two shots of the lead and he was soon joined by Porteous who failed to get up-and-down and dropped a shot at the third.

Another bogey followed for Porteous on the fourth but back-to-back gains on the seventh and eighth moved him back into the group at 13 under which was two off the lead when McGowan holed from six feet on the sixth after a great third shot.

The 33 year old endured a nightmare on the seventh, finding a hazard off the tee and hitting three poor shots for a double bogey but he bounced back on the eighth to move back into the lead which was soon shared by countryman Wall.

The 40 year old had quietly gone about his business, picking up birdies at the fourth and ninth and when he put a brilliant approach on the tenth to inside three feet, a third gain of the day got him to 14 under.

While all this was happening Im, who had teed off more than two hours before the leaders, had birdied the 18th courtesy of an excellent bunker shot to get to 13 under.

Pars followed for Wall on the 11th and 12th but after reaching the very front of the 13th green in two, he drained a brilliant curling putt for another birdie to get to 15 under.

Playing partner Porteous also birdied the 13th with a lengthy putt to get within a shot of the lead as McGowan dropped a shot on the tenth.

Ahead on the 18th, Lombard joined Im in being one of the players further back to storm through the field as he signed for a 65 to take a share of the lead with Wall.

The South African, who finished fourth at the Australian PGA Championship before Christmas, birdied his first two holes and, after giving a shot back on the third, made further gains on the fourth, eighth and ninth to turn in 33. He bogeyed the 11th but birdies on the 12th, 15th, 17th and 18th shot him up the leaderboard.

Playing partner Blaauw was level par for his round as he stood on the 15th tee but finished birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle to get himself to 13 under.

Dunne, meanwhile, had recorded a double bogey after finding the water at the 11th but regained the shots at the 14th and 15th before a bogey-birdie finish.

McGowan dropped a further shot on the 13th with Porteous making a bogey on the 15th but a birdie on the 17th then had the South African alone in second at 14 under.

Another birdie for Porteous on the last saw him join Wall, who had parred his way home, and Lombard at the top with McGowan also making a gain to get into a share of second.

Jean Hugo and Justin Walters were at 12 under with Björn Åkesson and Rhys West a further shot back, one clear of Felipe Aguilar, Alex Haindl and Marcel Siem.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1PORTEOUS, HaydnRSA15-17
T2ÅKESSON, BjörnSWE18-15
T2WALTERS, JustinRSA18-15
T2IM, DanielUSA17-15
T2WALL, AnthonyENG17-15
T2LOMBARD, ZanderRSA15-15

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