Grace’s lead slashed at Leopard Creek

South African Branden Grace saw his five-shot lead cut down to just one after the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

After superb rounds of 62 and 66 over the first two days, Grace tread water somewhat on day three, posting a level-par 72 that kept him at 16 under par.

In contrast, a couple of his closest rivals continued making gains to significantly close the gap at the top ahead of the final round.

Little-known Dane Lucas Bjerregaard is closest, having carded a six-under-par 66 to lie just one shot off the pace.

But Englishman Danny Willett, fresh off his victory at last week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge, is just two strokes back after a 67, while Italy’s Francesco Molinari shot a 70 to lie on 13 under, three back.

Andrew Johnston follows a further shot back after a 68, with Louis Oosthuizen alone in sixth two shots behind.

Leader Grace made four birdies in his round on Saturday, but also picked up bogeys at regular intervals in what was an inconsistent round.

“A couple of the easy holes I managed to make mistakes on,” he said.

“But I’m in the position I want to be in and looking forward to tomorrow.

“If you look at the positives, I’m still in good form and I made a couple of nice putts on the front nine. I’m one up and I’m raring to go tomorrow.

“I’ve only had good experiences going into a final round and leading. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and taking in those positive vibes.”

Willett recorded seven birdies and almost had a hole in one on the seventh. His only blemish came at the par-four ninth, which he double-bogeyed.

“It was one bad swing and I came back and played solidly on the back nine,” he said.