Sunshine Tour

Schwartzel opens big lead

Charl Schwartzel (Gallo)
Charl Schwartzel (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Birdies on the opening four holes set the tone for home favourite Charl Schwartzel as he stormed to a five-shot lead after the third round of the South African Open at Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Schwartzel, who started the round a shot behind Englishman Andy Sullivan, carded six birdies in his opening nine holes before finishing with a six under par 66 for a three-round total of 203.

The 30-year-old, who has never won his home championship, is five shots ahead of the Britons, Matthew Fitzpatrick and David Drysdale, who are tied for second.

Schwartzel holed a 50-foot putt on the first to gain momentum. He then holed from six foot and 20 foot for further birdies, before almost pitching in at the fourth.

That created an eight-shot swing over Sullivan who, in contrast to his playing partner's electric start, bogeyed his first four holes.

Sullivan finished with a two-over 74 and trails Schwartzel by seven shots going into Sunday's final round.

Fitzpatrick, a 20-year-old rookie, carded an eagle and six birdies, but also dropped three shots for a five-under par 67. Drysdale sank five birdies in his final seven holes for a 68 having double-bogeyed the 10th.

Another crowd favourite Ernie Els went round in 69, eight shots better than his erratic second round, and is on three under par for the championship in tied 20th.

Scores after the third round of the South African Open gold tournament played at the Glendower Golf Club on Saturday. (RSA unless otherwise stated)

203 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 68 69 66

208 - Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 73 68 67, David Drysdale (SCO) 68 72 68

209 - Lee Slattery (ENG) 70 74 65

210 - Paul Maddy (ENG) 71 71 68, Gary Stal (FRA) 75 66 69, Richard Sterne (RSA) 67 74 69, Jared Harvey (RSA) 71 69 70, Pablo Martin Benavides (ESP) 71 68 71, Colin Nel (RSA) 68 70 72, Lasse Jensen(DEN) 67 71 72, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 66 70 74

211 - Jason Scrivener (AUS) 73 72 66, Branden Grace (RSA) 71 71 69, Thomas Aiken (RSA) 70 71 70, Rikard Karlberg (SWE) 70 70 71

212 - James Morrison (ENG) 71 69 72, Alessandro Tadini (ITA) 71 68 73, JJ Senekal (RSA) 71 67 74

213 - Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 72 73 68, Carlos Del Moral (ESP) 72 72 69, Ernie Els (RSA) 67 77 69, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 73 71 69, Gareth Maybin (NIR) 71 73 69, Tjaart van der Walt (RSA) 70 73 70, Hennie Otto (RSA) 72 71 70, Matthew Nixon (ENG) 72 69 72,Matt Ford (ENG) 70 71 72

214 - Neil Schietekat (RSA) 74 72 68, Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 69 76 69, Louis de Jager (RSA) 70 75 69,Jerome Lando Casanova (FRA) 70 74 70, Doug McGuigan (RSA) 73 70 71, Estanislao Goya (ARG) 74 69 71,Chris Swanepoel (RSA) 70 71 73

215 - Jean Hugo (RSA) 73 72 70, Pedro Oriol (ESP) 71 73 71, Morten Orum Madsen (DEN) 73 71 71, Tyrone Mordt (RSA) 72 72 71, Anders Hansen (DEN) 73 70 72, Ricardo Santos (POR) 72 71 72, Niclas Fasth (SWE) 69 73 73, John Parry (ENG) 70 69 76

216 - Daniel Brooks (ENG) 73 73 70, Andrea Pavan (ITA) 74 71 71, Alex Haindl (RSA) 73 72 71, Trevor Fisher Jnr (RSA) 72 73 71,Nacho Elvira (ESP) 70 71 75

217 - Danie van Tonder (RSA) 78 68 71, Rhys West (RSA) 75 71 71, Keith Horne (RSA) 71 74 72, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 69 76 72, Chris Paisley (ENG) 74 69 74, Soren Hansen (DEN) 74 69 74, Renato Paratore (ITA) 72 71 74

218 - Shaun Norris (RSA) 70 76 72, Jbe' Kruger (RSA) 66 80 72

219 - Paul Lawrie(SCO) 71 75 73, Justin Harding (RSA) 70 75 74, Erik van Rooyen (RSA) 69 75 75

220 - Jaco van Zyl (RSA) 72 73 75, Jake Roos (RSA) 73 70 77

221 - John Hahn (USA) 75 71 75, Tom Murray (ENG) 69 76 76

222 - Keenan Davidse (RSA) 74 71 77

225 - Dean Burmester (RSA) 74 72 79

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