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Sunday, 04 March 2018
Mikko Korhonen  (Getty Images)
Mikko Korhonen (Getty Images)

Mikko Korhonen joined the lead as the final round of the Tshwane Open got under way at Pretoria Country Club.

The Finn was a runner-up here last season and is searching for a first win on the European Tour in his 140th event after coming through the Qualifying School four times.

A single birdie in his first three holes was enough to move him to 13 under alongside home favourite George Coetzee, who bogeyed the third after holding the overnight lead.

England's Sam Horsfield was then at 11 under alongside Spaniard Pedro Oriol, who was in the clubhouse after a stunning 62.

Chilean Felipe Aguilar, Scotland's Scott Jamieson and South African pair Thomas Aiken and Erik van Rooyen were then at ten under.

Oriol produced the round of the week and catapulted himself into another encouraging finish since his graduation from the Challenge Tour.

The two-time Qualifying School graduate has lost his card on both of his previous full seasons on Tour but has made four of his five cuts so far this campaign.

He birdied the second and sixth before making a hat-trick of birdies from the eighth and added further gains on the 13th and 15th. His only bogey of the day came on the next but a birdie-eagle finish moved him to 11 under.

Aiken and Korhonen both made smart par saves on the first while Horsfield needed some good fortune to register his, sending his tee-shot way left and bouncing from the trees onto the fairway before getting up and down from a bunker in front of the green.

Coetzee had no such issues, leaving himself ten feet for birdie and narrowly missing on the low side.

Van Rooyen hit a stunning approach into the third but missed his birdie putt from inside two feet, with Coetzee missing another ten-foot opportunity back on the second.

Korhonen hit his approach into the third to three feet for a birdie and that was soon enough for a share of the lead.

Coetzee's second on the third came up short of the green and a poor chip led to a dropped shot, with Horsfield also making a bogey after putting his tee-shot into the trees and flying the green.

Aguilar had a bogey on the first and a birdie on the fourth while Aiken, Jamieson and Van Rooyen all began their rounds with a string of pars.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-18
2HORSFIELD, SamENG18-16
3KORHONEN, MikkoFIN18-15
T4VAN TONDER, DanielRSA18-14
T4AGUILAR, FelipeCHI18-14
T4GROS, SébastienFRA18-14

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