Flying start for Finch

12/1/2013 10:53:00 AM
Richard Finch  (Getty Images)
Richard Finch (Getty Images)

Richard Finch wasted little time catching Charl Schwartzel at the top of the Alfred Dunhill Championship leaderboard when the final round got under way at Leopard Creek Country Club.

The Englishman, who lost his European Tour card after a disappointing 2013 campaign and failed to regain it at Qualifying School a fortnight ago, could earn a swift reprieve with victory.

However, home favourite Schwartzel looked a strong favourite for the title when he began the final round two shots clear in an event he won by a whopping 12 shots a year ago.

Two-time European Tour winner Finch caught his playing partner with birdies from eight feet on the first and ten feet at the third, as Schwartzel started with three straight pars.

On 13 under the pair were three clear of Dane Søren Hansen, who pitched to within a foot at the second and holed a 15 footer at the third for a couple of early gains.

Schwartzel went back in front with a gorgeous tee shot to tap-in distance at the short fifth, and both he and Finch birdied the driveable sixth from close range in what increasingly looked like a two-horse race.