David Lipsky is confident he will be able to handle the heat of the climate and the competition when he goes in search of a second European Tour title on Sunday at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
The American entered the weekend at Leopard Creek Country Club with a one-shot lead but will go into the final round one behind Scott Jamieson after carding a 70 on day three.
Lipsky joined the European Tour in 2014 as an Affiliate Member and won the European Masters that season but finished outside the top 100 on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex for the first time last year.
After two missed cuts in a row since the 2019 season-opener, he now looks well and truly on the comeback trail and is relishing being at the right end of the leaderboard.
“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow,” he said. “Scott and I are good friends, it was real fun out there today and I’m looking forward to competing tomorrow.
“It’s really hot but I’m from Las Vegas and it can get really hot there too so I’m enjoying it and it’s better than the cold, I guess.”
Defending champion Brandon Stone was two shots behind Lipsky after a bogey-free 69 that saw him sandwich a chip-in on the tenth with birdies on the fourth and 15th.
The three-time European Tour winner could have been closer to the lead had he taken golden birdie chances on the 11th, 12th and 13th but he was pleased with his day's work.
“The performance was very solid,” he said “Going bogey-free is something I hold myself to very proudly.
“If you had offered this position to me a few days ago, I would have taken it for sure.
“The game feels fantastic, I really feel like I’m playing solidly. I’m really hoping I can hole a few more putts, it just feels like I’m leaving three to four shots, daily, out there. On the greens, I feel like I’m rolling it really well so hopefully tomorrow morning, they all go in.”
Stone's group with countryman Zander Lombard is sure to take a big crowd on Sunday after the Qualifying School co-winner carded a 68 to also get to eight under.
Lombard held the solo lead after birdies on the 12th and 13th but fell back before a closing gain put him right back in contention.
“I think it was playing fair today,” he said. “I think it was just a question of managing your heart rate and not getting it too high because that’s when you start sweating and getting too hot. I managed to keep my cool and put a solid round together.
“I could trust my swing today. I never really thought of any trouble and it’s always nice when you can play like that and it was just fun today.
"I'm excited for tomorrow’s prospects, cant wait for that.”