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Du Plessis keeps his nose in front in South Africa

Du Plessis keeps his nose in front in South Africa

Hennie du Plessis will go in search of a first DP World Tour victory in wire-to-wire style when he takes a two-shot lead into the final round of the 2022 MyGolfLife Open hosted by Pecanwood.

Hennie du Plessis

The South African was part of a four-way tie after a stunning 62 on day one and followed that with a 65 to take a one-shot lead into the weekend.

He could not maintain that blistering pace in round three but a 70 was enough to move him to 19 under and give him the advantage over countryman Richard Sterne and Spaniards Adri Arnaus, Nacho Elvira and Pablo Larrazábal.

Arnaus matched the lowest round of his DP World Tour career with a 64, while Sterne carded a 70, one shot better than Elvira and Larrazábal.

A victory for home favourite Du Plessis - whose commute this week is a "one minute drive in a buggy" - would make him the second South African this season to be a first-time and wire-to-wire winner after Thriston Lawrence at the Joburg Open.

The 25-year-old finished in the top ten himself at Randpark Golf Club and is a two-time winner on the Sunshine Tour.

"I obviously expected somewhere close to 25 under that was going to lead tonight so by the turn when I saw nobody was really making a charge I just kept calm and tried to hit as many greens as possible and give myself as many greens and putts as possible," he said.

"The greens were a little bit firmer and that was about it. I can’t think the course played much different but the greens were definitely a lot firmer.

"I stayed very patient all day and got a bit unlucky on the 14th, obviously someone is testing my patience on the 14th, so I made a bogey there but kept it cool and finished up nicely.

"It was awesome, I haven’t played in front of a nice home crowd before so I really enjoyed every minute of it. You have to take it as it comes, just stick to your process, trust your targets, trust your lines, hope for the best and enjoy it."

Du Plessis and playing partner Elvira both birdied the first but the overnight leader soon had company at the top as Larrazábal picked up shots at the fourth and fifth.

It was awesome, I haven’t played in front of a nice home crowd before so I really enjoyed every minute of it

He gave those shots back on the sixth and eighth and Du Plessis led by two as he took advantage of the par-five seventh to move to 19 under.

Arnaus turned in 33 as he sandwiched a bogey on the third with birdies on the first, second, fifth and eighth but he truly found his groove on the back nine.

The 27-year-old picked up shots on the tenth, 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th to become the nearest challenger but that all changed when the final group reached the tenth.

Elvira had turned in level par as he birdied the sixth with dropped shots on the third and ninth but an eagle on the par five saw him leapfrog Arnaus into solo second, two shots back with Du Plessis making a birdie on the same hole.

Elvira cut the gap to one with a birdie on the 12th and while he dropped a shot on the 14th, so did Du Plessis.

Larrazábal birdied the 12th to finish at 17 under and Sterne joined him at that mark after a roller coaster of a round.

The six-time DP World Tour winner made a bogey-bogey start but fought back to turn in level par with three birdies and one more dropped shot.

He was back over par for the day as he sandwiched a gain on the 12th with bogeys on the tenth and 13th but birdies on the 14th, 15th and 18th moved him back up the leaderboard.

A bogey on the last from Elvira then saw him join the group at 17 under and Du Plessis led by two.

Frenchman Julien Brun was at 15 under alongside South Africans Darren Fichardt and Jbe Kruger and English pair Ross Fisher and Jordan Smith.

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