Saturday, 03 March 2018
Sam Horsfield  (Getty Images)
Sam Horsfield (Getty Images)

Sam Horsfield joined George Coetzee at the top of the leaderboard as the third round of the Tshwane Open reached its closing stages at Pretoria Country Club.

Home favourite Coetzee entered the day with a one-shot lead and turned in 34 to get to 12 under but Englishman Horsfield made seven birdies in 15 holes to join him.

They were three shots clear of Chilean Felipe Aguilar, South African Thomas Aiken and Finn Mikko Korhonen.

Brazilian Adilson da Silva, Frenchman Sébastien Gros and South Africans Shaun Norris and Daniel van Tonder were then in the clubhouse at eight under.

Horsfield came through all three stages of Qualifying School to win the Final Stage by eight shots and reached the semi-finals of the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth as he makes his start to life on the European Tour.

He made five birdies in his first eight holes on Friday and was off to a flier again, making five opening threes to hand him four gains as he moved up to nine under.

The front right was a popular spot on the first green and Aguilar found it but he three-putted on the slow surface, dropping another shot on the second to make it three in a row after Friday's closing blemish.

Coetzee had no such trouble, leaving himself 12 feet for birdie on the first but he had to settle with a par as Korhonen made a smart save after a poor tee-shot.

The 2015 champion played the second in the same textbook fashion as he had the first but this time he made the birdie putt and opened up a two-shot lead, with Korhonen again having to work for his par.

It was advantage Coetzee on the third as Korhonen found the rough but while his recovery was excellent, Coetzee's second was poor, and a three-putt led to a bogey and cut the gap to one.

Horsfield then joined Korhonen in second with a birdie on the ninth and when the 37 year old three-putted the fourth, Horsfield was second on his own.

The 21 year old then holed from 12 feet on the 11th to get into a share of the lead and after coming up just short of the par five 12th and getting down in two, he held top spot alone.

Aguilar made a gain on the seventh to get one of those dropped shots back and he was joined at nine under by Aiken.

The three-time European Tour winner had made a birdie on the fourth and he holed a nice left-to-righter on the tenth before making another gain on the 11th.

Coetzee then made a smart up-and-down from a greenside bunker on the ninth to get back into a share of the lead.

Da Silva, Gros and Van Tonder all signed for rounds of 66, with Norris carding a 67.

Scotland's Scott Jamieson was two under through 11 holes to also sit at eight under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-18
3KORHONEN, MikkoFIN18-15
T4VAN TONDER, DanielRSA18-14
T4GROS, SébastienFRA18-14
T4AGUILAR, FelipeCHI18-14

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