Charl Schwartzel (Getty Images)
Charl Schwartzel stole an early march on playing partner Grégory Bourdy when the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship began at a sun-drenched Leopard Creek.
Locked together on 13 under par overnight – four clear of the rest of the field – 30 year old Frenchman Bourdy bogeyed the opening hole, leaving former Masters Tournament winner Schwartzel one clear after a par.
Both players knocked in putts from inside five feet at the par five second for birdies, leaving 28 year old Schwartzel – a winner in Thailand last week - one ahead on 14 under par.
Schwartzel’s compatriot Darren Fichardt was doing his bit to prevent it becoming a two-horse race; the Saint-Omer Open winner birdieing his first two holes to reach 11 under.
Schwartzel looked like doubling his advantage when he rolled in a seven foot birdie putt at the fourth, but Bourdy followed him in from five feet.
Both players found the green in one at the driveable par four sixth and walked off with birdies, although Schwartzel may feel he should have done better after a magnificent three wood to six feet.
Schwartzel, who won by 11 shots on Sunday, was threatening to establish huge lead once more when he hit his tee shot to two feet at the seventh and rolled in a ten footer at the eighth to reach 18 under.
Bourdy was three behind on 15 under, with a further three shot gap back to Fichardt.
Elsewhere Keith Horne had a hole-in-one at the 12th for the second day running and as a result had advanced to ten under.