Saturday, 02 December 2017
Day 3 Highlights - AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
Arjun Atwal was caught by South Africa's Louis De Jager on day three of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to set up a thrilling final round at Heritage Golf Club.

The 44 year old Indian, who will captain his continent at next year's EurAsia Cup, had led from the tournament's start after opening with a sparkling 62 at Heritage Golf Club.

A second round 70 saw his lead trimmed to one, and it looked like Atwal would retain that advantage until he three-putted the 18th for bogey.

A third round 68 left him 13 under, level with De Jager, who carded four birdies in a round of 67.

Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines and South African Dylan Fritelli are a shot further back in third, with Romain Langasque, Justin Walters and José-Filipe Lima on ten under.

"I played solid all day except for a blip on the last hole which won’t bother me," Atwal said. "It did play harder today. 

"I’m really looking forward to Sunday. With the way I’m playing, I think I have a good shot at it.

"I’m really calm here but a bit tired. You mixed those two together and I think I’ll be okay on Sunday."

Atwal, chasing a fourth European Tour title almost a decade after winning his third in Malaysia, was initially joined at the top when De Jager made a five footer for birdie on the par-three third.

Playing in the group behind, Atwal retook the lead with a gain of his own at the third from a similar distance only to then bogey the fourth after driving into a bunker and then missing the green with his approach.

With the way I’m playing, I think I have a good shot at it - ​Arjun Atwal

A hat-trick of birdies from the seventh threatened to send Atwal clear again, but De Jager also picked up a shot at the eighth and then birdied the 12th after a spectacular approach from the rough.


Both players took advantage of the par-five 14th, but just as it looked like he was going to retain a narrow advantage heading into the final round, Atwal overhit his birdie effort on the last and missed the return putt.

The 30 year old De Jager, a three-time winner on the co-sanctioning Sunshine Tour, said: "I’m very pleased with my efforts. It was really tough out there today. 

"I felt really composed. I was quite cool and calm out there. I didn’t hit the ball as well as the first two days but my short game really saved me today, and my putter really saved me inside the eight-foot range. I made a few crucial putts that really kept me in the tournament.

"It’s going to be my first time in the final group in a co-sanctioned tournament. I’m going to cherish the moment. I’m looking forward to it and I’m going to go out there and give it my all."
 

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FRITTELLI, DylanRSA18-16
2ATWAL, ArjunIND18-16
3LANGASQUE, RomainFRA18-14
4DE JAGER, LouisRSA18-13
T5PAVON, MatthieuFRA18-12
T5TABUENA, MiguelPHI18-12

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