Schwartzel takes narrow advantage

11/23/2013 2:38:00 PM
Charl Schwartzel  (Getty Images)
Charl Schwartzel (Getty Images)
Pre-tournament favourite Charl Schwartzel holds a one shot lead going into the last round of the South African Open Championship hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni.

South African Schwartzel carded a scrappy three under par 69 on a bright and breezy day at Glendower GC to sit 15 under overall, one clear of Marco Crespi and Morten Ørum Madsen.

Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters Tournament champion and eight time European Tour winner, birdied five holes but bogeyed two in a steady if unspectacular third round in the first event of the 2014 Race to Dubai.

The world number 22 said: “It was a bit up and down but I think I did what I needed to do. You always think some things could have been better.

“I had a chance to separate myself from the field a little bit at 12, 13, two birdie opportunities, but the greens are starting to speed up and, like I said yesterday, there are a few bumpy spots around the holes ... 69 overall is a good round.”

Schwartzel, whose shot of the day was a 120 metre approach at the tenth that stopped two inches from the cup, added: “Every time I hit a good shot it seemed like my straightforward ones were (then) a bit iffy. Like I said, it was a bit up and down; there were some bad swings and a few good ones but it’s now all done.”

Schwartzel explained his determination to win this competition for the first time, saying: “I’ve won the Dunhill and one or two others here in South Africa. The South African Open, being the second oldest golf tournament in the world and being our national open, it would be fantastic.”

Dane Madsen also went round in three under today, with the same number of gains and drops as Schwartzel.

Italian Crespi, the joint overnight leader with Schwartzel, was a shot worse off than both Madsen and the South African.

Hennie Otto, the 2011 home winner, produced the round of the day, birdying seven of the last eight holes for a seven under par 65 that put him one behind Crespi and Madsen and two in front of the chasing pack.