Mikael Lindberg will take a one stroke lead into the final day of the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open after firing a seven under par round of 65 to catapult himself into contention at Royal Cape Golf Club.
The Swede was one of the early starters and took advantage of calm conditions before the wind swirled in the Mother City, carding two eagles, four birdies and a solitary bogey to reach 11 under par for the week.
The 31-year-old goes into the final round one stroke clear of seven players, including South Africans Ryan van Velzen, Louis Albertse, Thomas Aiken and Michael Hollick, Frenchmen Martin Couvra and Robin Sciot-Siegrist and England’s Sam Hutsby.
Lindberg admits it was a bonus to have an early tee time as the wind made conditions challenging late on moving day.
“I saw the forecast yesterday and I saw the wind was picking up around lunch time,” he said. “I felt like even though I was a few shots off the leaders at the start of the day, if I could post a good number, I could get myself in contention.
“I was in a good place to make the most of teeing off early. The wind did pick up at the end of my round, but at the same time, the last three holes are down-wind so I’d say I was in a good place when it did start blowing.
“The two eagles were a bonus for sure as well. There are a few shorter par fives here, and I was driving the ball well today so I was able to take advantage of that.”
Lindberg started the day five strokes behind ten players who shared the overnight lead, and after birdieing the second, he eagled the seventh to make the turn three under par. A second eagle of the day followed at hole 11 before he birdied the 12th as wind hit the parkland course.
The Swede’s only dropped shot of the day came at the 14th but he recorded back-to-back gains at his next two holes to put himself in pole position as he goes in search of a second Challenge Tour victory.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a leaderboard so tight,” he said. “After 15 holes today there were 17 players in the lead on nine under par. It builds up for an interesting Sunday that’s for sure.
“Tomorrow is going to be a lot of fun,” he said. “It feels like it’s been a while since I played well but hopefully I can continue to play some good golf tomorrow.”
Seven players share ninth on nine under par including South African’s JC Ritchie, Toto Thimba Jnr, Shaun Norris, Gerhard Pepler and Danie van Niekerk, Frenchman Robin Roussel and Spaniard Victor Pastor.
The final round gets under way at 6:30am local time with Lindberg teeing off alongside Michael Hollick at 11:55am.