Volvo Golf Champions: Tommy Fleetwood shoots 69 to take one-shot lead in Durban
Tommy Fleetwood carded a three-under 69 to edge in front with a round to play at the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban.
Last Updated: 11/01/14 4:23pm
The Englishman had gone to the turn in three-under 33 but then struggled on the back nine with seven pars and bogey six at the 14th.
But a closing birdie at the short 18th allowed the 22-year-old to take the sole lead on 10-under, one in front of Frenchman Victor Dubuisson and Dutchman Joost Luiten.
"It was still playing tough. I think the pins were tucked away a little bit more plus my game wasn't so good so it all equalled itself out really," said Fleetwood, who had carded a 67 in round two.
"The course is always making you think so it's great to get round in another good score.
"Hopefully that's my dodgy swinging round out of the way and I can play well tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. I can't wait. It's a great leaderboard and I'll be there trying my best," said Fleetwood, who won last year's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen fired seven birdies in a rollercoaster round and looked as if he'd be the overnight leader after hitting 10-under with birdie twos at both 12 and 15.
But the South African made a mess of the 16th after driving into shrubbery and missing a four footer and eventually walked off with a triple bogey seven.
A birdie at 18 left him two back and still in a strong position.
Luiten, who scored a rare albatross at the par five 10th on Friday, wasn't too far off another at the par four last when he drove the green and finished just six feet away.
He couldn't convert the eagle putt though and that denied him a share of the 54-hole lead. The Dutchman was round in two-under 70.
Branden Grace fired a four-under 68 to creep up to solo fifth on seven-under. The South African, who won this tournament two years ago, started with a pair of bogeys but wiped them out with an eagle at three and added further birdies at 8, 9, 14 and 18 to get in the hunt.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson is another who will go into Sunday with hopes of victory following a 68 of his own that left him four off the pace while pre-tournament favourite Charl Schwartzel is five in arrears after also shooting four-under.
England's Paul Casey produced the round of the day and the tournament so far - a seven-under 65 - and that hauled him up to tied 10th after a tricky first two days.
Casey is now six back in an eye-catching group which features three-time major winner Padraig Harrington (70), 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke (72), last year's Wentworth winner Matteo Manassero (73) and England's Chris Wood (71), who defends his Qatar Masters crown in two weeks' time.