Coetzee moves closer to Tshwane title

Updated / Saturday, 3 Mar 2018 21:32

George Coetzee has a two-shot lead

Pre-tournament favourite George Coetzee put himself in pole position to claim a second Tshwane Open title at his home course after opening up a two-shot lead heading into the final round.

Coetzee has been a member at Pretoria Country Club since taking up the sport and put his local knowledge to good use to card a third round of 68 and reach 14 under par.

England's Sam Horsfield and Finland's Mikko Korhonen are Coetzee's nearest challengers on 12 under, Horsfield surging through the field with a flawless 64 - the lowest round of the day - and Korhonen returning a 69.

"I'm happy with a two-shot lead," Coetzee told, despite a bogey on the 18th after his drive finished behind a tree. "I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Playing in front of a home crowd is what it's all about. I hope I can do something special in front of all the guys tomorrow.

"I shouldn't actually think of anything tomorrow - just try and play some good golf. It will be hard to take the win out of the picture, but I'll try my best to just go out and play some good golf."

Horsfield, who came through all three stages of the European Tour's qualifying school and won the final by eight shots, held the outright lead after birdies on the first four holes and further gains on the ninth, 11th and 12th before settling for six straight pars to finish.

"When I was seven under through 12 I just tried to stay in my zone," the 21-year-old said. "I was playing with Matt Baldwin and I know him pretty well. We played together at Q-School and we just had fun out there.

"I think everyone just wants to get themselves into contention and I've done that, so tomorrow's going to be a fun day. I had a good week at Q-School, so when I get into contention, I can look back on something like that."

Scotland's Scott Jamieson is four shots off the lead after a third round of 67, with Felipe Aguilar, Thomas Aiken and Erik van Rooyen alongside Jamieson on 10 under.