Schwartzel opens up two-shot lead in South Africa
Defending champion Charl Schwartzel will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Sunday as he looks to make instant amends for the disappointment of seven days ago.
Schwartzel looked set to win the South African Open last week when he held a three-shot lead early in the final round, but dumped his tee shot on the sixth into water short of the green to run up a triple-bogey six.
The South African also took a double bogey on the 10th as his hopes of winning his home Open for the first time evaporated, although three birdies in the last eight holes at least saw him finish joint fourth at Glendower Golf Club.
Schwartzel could not have asked for a better location to seek redemption than Leopard Creek, having won here by 12 shots last year, and the 29-year-old is again the man to catch on 13 under par after a flawless third round of 67.
The former Masters champion's score was matched by England's Richard Finch and France's Victor Riu to leave them two and three shots behind respectively.
"I played a lot better today I think than the first two days, I felt more comfortable and hit more aggressive and positive shots," said Schwartzel, who had complained of some "very, very iffy" pin positions after his second round of 68.
"The one or two holes I didn't feel comfortable I just backed off a little bit and made par and carried on. Just try to keep the board ticking over was basically the plan for today.
"I gave myself a lot of chances but the greens in the afternoon when you are last off, there are a lot of spike marks around the holes and the ball is bouncing around a lot so it is hard to make a lot of putts, but if things went your way it could have been really low.
"I've got a two-shot lead and basically the same plan for tomorrow, if I can just keep going that way I will apply pressure to everyone and someone will have to play really well to catch me."
Schwartzel has now gone 44 holes without dropping a shot and added: "If I keep playing the way I am there is no reason to make any. If you keep thinking well around the course and executing the shots you should just keep making birdies.
"It's one of those courses where on all the right lines I feel comfortable, it's mostly right in front of you and it helps that I've had good success."
Schwartzel started the day in a share of the lead with Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen, the man who took advantage of late collapses from Schwartzel and Hennie Otto to win his maiden European Tour title in Johannesburg.
But while Madsen got off to a nightmare start with bogeys at the first two holes and eventually struggled to a 79, Schwartzel birdied the par-five second and then made a potentially decisive move around the turn.
A superb approach to the eighth left the South African with a tap-in birdie and another followed from six feet on the ninth to be out in 32.
Further birdies on the 12th and 13th took Schwartzel to 13 under par and although he failed to take advantage of the par-five 15th or 18th, the world number 21 will be a strong favourite to win the event for a third time.
Finch won twice on the European Tour in 2008 but lost his card in 2013 and having failed to regain it via the qualifying school, is playing this week thanks to an invite from the tournament sponsors.
The 36-year-old suffered a terrible finish to his second round when he dropped four shots in the last three holes, but made amends on Saturday with a flawless round containing five birdies and no bogeys.
Fellow Englishman Ross Fisher was not so fortunate, the former Ryder Cup player finding water with his approach to the 18th to take a double-bogey seven and drop six shots off the lead.