Tokyo Olympics

SA's Bezuidenhout hopes putter can improve as he eyes top finish in Tokyo

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South African golfer Christiaan Bezuidenhout
South African golfer Christiaan Bezuidenhout
YOSHI IWAMOTO / AFP

South African golfer Christiaan Bezuidenhout says that his putter needs to work if he stands a chance as he heads into the final round of the Tokyo Olympics golf event on Saturday.

Bezuidenhout carded 3-under 68 to sit on tied for 17th on seven-under par with American Xander Schauffele leading on 14-under.

Bezuidenhout missed several birdie opportunities during his third round as his putter failed him at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.

Speaking to Sport24 following his round, Bezuidenhout acknowledged that the greens have been difficult to read.

"I was struggling to read the greens, I haven't read them well this week," said Bezuidenhout.

"The greens are so perfect. I just didn't see the breaks and I'll go back and do some work on the putting green to sort it out."

When asked if he had a fighting chance as he currently trails Schauffele by seven strokes, Bezuidenhout simply replied: "I've been hitting the ball well and I'll keep doing that. Hopefully, the putter will work."

It's Bezuidenhout's first Olympics as he qualified due to the withdrawal from SA's top-ranked golfer Louis Oosthuizen.

Bezuidenhout has had a decent week thus far in hot and humid conditions, adding that he is enjoying himself in Tokyo. 

"Living the Village has been great. It's been cool to be a part of the set-up over there and everyone involved all over with all the different athletes from different countries," he said.

"My experience has been great and it's a privilege to be a part of Team South Africa as well. The Japanese people are amazing and doing a great job hosting these events in these difficult times."

Following Sunday's final round, there's no rest for the 27-year-old as he will shift his focus back to the PGA Tour.

"I'm treating this as a tour event also. You're still playing with most of the players that you play against on the PGA Tour," said Bezuidenhout.

"Jet lag and time zones are going to be difficult, but you're got to adapt quickly and I'm looking forward to get back on Tour."

Meanwhile, South Africa's other golfer Garrick Higgo carded a 1-under 70 to sit T46 on 1-under par.

*Lynn Butler is in Tokyo covering the Olympic Games for Sport24

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