George Coetzee retains Tshwane Open lead as Sam Horsfield charges
Last Updated: 04/03/18 5:27pm
George Coetzee will take a two-shot lead into the final day of the Tshwane Open after some controlled golf saw him card a three-under 68 in the third round at Waterkloof in South Africa.
The local favourite, who is bidding for his second win at the Pretoria Country Club where he is a member, held a one-shot advantage overnight and he kept his rivals at bay as he moved to 14-under 199.
England's Sam Horsfield stormed through the field with a seven-under 64 to claim a share of second place on 12 under alongside Mikko Korhonen of Finland.
Scotland's Scott Jamieson and South African duo Erik van Rooyen and Thomas Aiken, who all fired four-under 67s, are in a tie for fourth place on 10 under, along with Felipe Aguilar of Chile (71).
Coetzee, whose previous Tshwane Open win came in 2015, made a decent start with a birdie at the second, but he quickly gave that gain back on the third before stringing together five successive pars.
That barren run gave Horsfield the chance to make inroads and the 21-year-old, who led the way at last year's Qualifying School, hit the front after rattling in his seventh birdie of the day at the 12th.
Horsfield, who had started his round with four successive birdies, could only manage pars on the last six holes, though, and that allowed Coetzee to take command again.
The 31-year-old was back ahead after back-to-back birdies on the ninth and 10th and a fine up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the 12th, followed by a superb approach shot for another birdie at the 15th put him three clear.
A wayward tee shot which ended up behind a tree cost Coetzee a bogey on the 18th, but he is still hopeful of wrapping up his fourth European Tour victory - all three of his previous wins have been on African soil - on Sunday.
"I'm happy with a two-shot lead," Coetzee said. "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 added: "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."
Korhonen, who finished joint-second last year, began his round just one behind Coetzee but he slipped away with bogeys at the fourth and 11th before putting himself back in contention with four birdies in six holes from the 12th.
Former Masters champion Danny Willett trod water in his third round as a level-par 71 left him on four under and in a share of 29th place.
Watch the final round of the Tshwane Open live on Sky Sports Golf from 10am on Sunday.