Louis Oosthuizen opens three-shot lead at South African Open
Oosthuizen aiming for maiden title at event on home soil
Last Updated: 09/12/18 3:31pm
Louis Oosthuizen opened a three-shot lead heading into the final round of the South African Open as the home favourite moved closer to ending his near three-year title drought.
The 2010 Open champion has not won since his success at the ISPS Handa Perth International in February 2016 but he mixed six birdies with two bogeys at Randpark Golf Club to card a four-under 67 and move to 14 under par.
Oosthuizen's nearest challengers are England's Matt Wallace, countryman Charl Schwartzel and Zambia's Madalitso Muthiya, with South African duo Ernie Els and Branden Grace part of an eight-man group three shots further back.
Oosthuizen is the highest-ranked player in the field and he began his third round, delayed by 20 minutes due to the threat of storms, with a birdie before further gains either side of a bogey at the fifth.
The South African had opened a one-shot lead over Muthiya after the sixth but three birdies in four holes from the 12th saw the 36-year-old earn a four-shot advantage at one stage.
Oosthuizen did drop his second shot of the day at the 17th but a battling par at the last ensured he holds a good buffer going into Sunday's final round.
Wallace, who has won three titles this year, made a strong move up the leaderboard with three birdies over his front nine before coming back home with three further gains, including a closing gain, and three bogeys.
Schwartzel, the overnight leader, struggled to replicate the form which saw him fire a blemish-free eight-under 63 on Friday as the 2011 Masters champion mixed two bogeys with just one gain.
Muthiya, leading by two shots at the par-three fifth, was penalised for a double-hit when playing a fairway wood from the fringe and forced to settle for a double bogey - one of two over his opening 10 holes - but three consecutive birdies on the back nine saw him finish well.
Five-time winner Ernie Els, playing alongside his nephew Jovan Rebula, showed continuing strides with his putter as he made seven birdies in a three-under 68, while compatriot Grace settled for a level-par 71.
Watch Sunday's final round coverage of the South African Open from 9.30am live on Sky Sports Golf.