Oosthuizen retains slender lead

1/7/2012 12:17:16 PM
Louis Oosthuizen  (Getty Images)
Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)
Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen turned one head of compatriots Retief Goosen and Tjaart Van Der Walt as the race for the Africa Open continued at East London Golf Club.

The former Open Champion carded a brilliant 62 on Friday to lead by two at the halfway stage, but despite birdieing his first three holes and holing from three feet for another gain at the seventh, Oosthuizen was only one clear on 19 under after nine holes of the third round.

Van Der Walt birdied the first four – but it was still not quite as impressive as his performance on Friday when he played the same stretch in five under courtesy of a hole-in-one at the second and an eagle at the par five next.

The 37 year old followed Oosthuizen in from close range for birdie at the seventh, dropped a shot at the next after a wayward drive into trees down the right led to a penalty drop, before recovering with a birdie at the 468 yard ninth.

Two-time US Open Champion Goosen also turned in a five under 32 after five birdies, as the former European Number One seeks his first European Tour title for five years.

England’s Danny Willett was six under for the day through ten holes and up to fourth as he steps up his bid for a first European Tour title, with Richard Sterne a shot further back on his first appearance for 11 months after a back injury.