Friday 20 April 2018

Jamie Donaldson maintains his lead at Sun City

Jamie Donaldson of Wales, plays a fairway shot on the sixth hole on the first day at Sun City South Africa
Jamie Donaldson of Wales, plays a fairway shot on the sixth hole on the first day at Sun City South Africa

Phil Casey

Jamie Donaldson was taking nothing for granted despite maintaining his grip on the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City on Saturday.

Donaldson held onto his overnight three-shot lead thanks to a third round of 67, six birdies and one bogey that left the Welshman on 16 under par.

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and American Ryan Moore are Donaldson's nearest challengers on 13 under after carding rounds of 66 and 67 respectively, with European number one Henrik Stenson, Spain's Sergio Garcia and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee another two strokes back.

"This is one of the best fields in the world and a three-shot lead doesn't mean much," said Donaldson, who won in Abu Dhabi in January and went on to finish fifth in the Race to Dubai in 2013.

"I'm looking forward to the final round. It's going to be a tough day on a difficult course.

"It was hard work out there, even when you are playing well. You can't sit back for a minute, because every hole is difficult. It's very important to stay in the present and keep hitting good shots.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I'll play as aggressively as I can and take on all the shots that I would if it was the first day. I have to go out there and play aggressive golf where I can.

"It would be very special to win. It's a great golf course and a great country. I've won twice on the European Tour so far, but every win is special. This would just be a little more special."

Donaldson birdied the fourth and fifth and saved par on the ninth after finding the water with his approach, before picking up further shots on the 10th and 11th.

Further birdies followed on the 14th and 15th and he was unlucky not to make another on the 16th after his tee shot clattered into the flag and rebounded 20ft away.

Bjorn chipped in for an eagle on the 10th and carded five birdies, his only bogey coming on the 14th when he duffed his pitch having landed in a divot on the fairway.

"I played well today, got off to a good start and was a bit unfortunate on 14 when I laid it up into a divot and walked off with a good six in the end," Bjorn said.

"But other than that it was pretty solid all the way round and that's what you need to do on this course. It could have been a bit lower but all in all it was a good day's work.

"If you can shoot 66 or 67 (on Sunday) you give yourself a chance and then it's up to other people. You have to try and be as patient as I have been these three days.

"I have stuck to my game plan and it has worked out well and if I can do that tomorrow hopefully it can add some pressure and you can be there right at the end.

"To chase somebody down on this golf course is just going to get you into trouble so just play sensible golf and try to make a putt here and there."

Online Editors

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