Massive logjam at Tshwane Open

European Tour

As many as six players are tied for the lead heading into the final round of the Tshwane Open at Pretoria Country Club.

Overnight leader Adrian Otaegui of Spain stayed at the top despite a two-over-par 72 dropping him down to nine under par for the tournament, but now he’s joined by five others all sitting on the nine under mark as well.

England’s David Horsey has been there or thereabouts all week, and another solid 69 saw him move to the top, while Scotland’s Craig Lee was the biggest mover of the day, a four-under-par 67 lifting him from outside the top 10 into a share of the lead as well.

“I’m delighted,” said Lee, who is chasing a maiden European Tour title after two previous runner-up finishes. “It’s one of those courses where you can go quite low as guys have done, but it doesn’t take much to be offline and then you really get punished around here.

“To knock it around in four under today was a great score. I’m still making a couple of silly mistakes, but all-in-all I’m delighted with my game; it’s getting better and better and we’re almost in a position where I’m completely happy with it.

“To contend on the last day is what we’re all after and it’s brilliant to be up there.”

The three Europeans are tied at the top with three South Africans – George Coetzee (68), Wallie Coetsee (69) and last week’s Africa Open champion Trevor Fisher Jnr (69).

The six leaders are far from the only ones in with a shot of the trophy come Sunday either.

Two more local players, Ockie Strydom and Erik van Rooyen, lie just one shot back, while the likes of Edoardo Molinari, Morten Orum Madsen and Raphael Jacquelin are just two shots back.

Four more players lie three back on six under, while six more are four shots adrift.

Otaegui looked set to stretch his overnight lead with two early birdies on Saturday, but slipped up with bogeys at the ninth, 10th and 11th before a birdie at the 12th was followed by another dropped shot at 17.

“I played pretty well until the ninth,” said Otaegui.

“I’m trying to keep the rhythm for better tee shots tomorrow.

“I played okay and I’m pretty confident for tomorrow. I think there were good things to learn from today and tomorrow is another chance.

“I don’t want to change anything and we’ll see what happens. We just have to keep the ball in play and stay smart.”

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