Oliver Bekker will take a five-stroke lead into the final day of the Dimension Data Pro-Am thanks to a sensational eight under par third round at Fancourt Golf Estate.
As the temperature ascended in George, so did the South African, moving to 18 under par following a round of 64 on the Outeniqua course, five clear of overnight leader Luke Jerling who sits in second on 13 under.
The 38-year-old carded four birdies and a bogey to make the turn three under, before a red-hot back nine of 31 which included an eagle, four birdies and a bogey, catapulted him into pole position.
Bekker, who graduated from the European Challenge Tour in 2021, was pleased to take advantage of the benign morning conditions at Fancourt Golf Estate and is feeling confident ahead of the final round.
“The conditions were great, so I took advantage of that,” he said. “I played really nicely and it felt great to hole a few putts coming home and overall it was a good day.
“Montagu and The Links are typically the harder courses, so it was important for me to capitalise on my strong performances in the opening two rounds.
“I’ve been getting off to good starts over the last few weeks but letting myself down on the weekend, so it was pleasing to see a good round on a Saturday and move up the leaderboard.
“My game has been pretty good recently, but I needed to focus on making less unforced errors and I think I did that today. I fancy myself to have a strong finish tomorrow.”
The South African, who won the Dimension Data Pro-Am in 2012, resides in George and his familiarity with the surroundings are clearly paying dividends after rising to the top of the leaderboard on day three.
“I love playing this event because I get to sleep in my own bed and I’ve got lots of support cheering me on which makes a big difference,” he said. “I won this event a long time ago and I’ve always enjoyed playing at Fancourt.
“I will put my family first this afternoon, have fun with the kids, relax a bit and see what happens tomorrow. Montagu is one of my favourite courses so I’m looking forward to a good final round in this amazing place.”
Spaniard Manuel Elvira and Swede Adam Blommé share third place on 12 under par, while Englishman Tom Murray and Switzerland’s Joel Girrbach share fifth on 11 under.
Seven players sit in seventh position on ten under par ahead of the final round, including three-time DP World Tour winner Brandon Stone and 2021 Dimension Data Pro-Am champion Wilco Nienaber.