Golf

Christiaan soldiers onward

2011-03-19 20:43
Christiaan Basson (Gallo)
Windhoek - After a slow start, Christiaan Basson made five birdies on his closing nine to head the R1.2-million MTC Namibia PGA Championship by two strokes after the third round.

His five-under-par 66 had him in the lead over Sunshine Tour rookie JG Claassen, who dropped two shots coming home in his four-under 67 to be at 10-under for the tournament going into the final round.

One shot further back is the trio of Josh Cunliffe, Albert Pistorius and Ryan Tipping, all of whom had opportunities to get ahead, but spurned them with two bogeys apiece on the back nine of the 6 570-metre par-71 Windhoek Country Club.

“I just played solid golf,” said Basson. “It didn’t want to get going in the beginning, but I knew I just had to stay patient and in the end a couple started falling and I got a bit of momentum.”

Like all his rivals, he also dropped a shot, but it was just a single one on the 339-metre par-four 14th.

“Today(Saturday), I made one or two putts down the back nine, and I also chipped in once, on the 15th, and that always helps,” he said.

Basson, who is looking for his second victory as a professional after his maiden win in 2009 in the Coca-Cola Championship, was not sure how well he was going to sleep on the lead.

“When I won, I came from one shot down,” he recalled, “so I’m pretty sure I’ll be nervous for the first few holes of the final round.”

Claassen used all his length off the tee to his advantage in his round, and, when he eagled the 530-metre par-five 10th, he hit the front.

However, length like his needs to be controlled, and he bogeyed 14 and 16. Even with his birdie on 15, he slipped out of the lead, and will have to work to get on top of the leaderboard again.

Cunliffe also eagled the 10th – he chipped in from just short of the green, but bogeys on 13 and 15 stymied his charge.

“It always seems to happen,” he lamented as he tried to work out the kinks on the range after his round. “Now I have left myself with more work than I would have liked tomorrow(Sunday).”

Tipping’s pair of bogeys came in succession on the 16th and 17th, after all the hard work had been done and he had made three birdies to lead the tournament.

And Pistorius bogeyed 13 and 16 as they all let Basson skip clear.

“The course is playing a bit tougher than previous years,” said Basson, “and under the conditions, you have to be steady and you can’t make mistakes.”

Scores (RSA unless specified):
201 - Christiaan Basson 65 70 66
203 - JG Claassen 69 67 67
204 - Josh Cunliffe 70 68 66, Albert Pistorius 66 69 69, Ryan Tipping 67 67 70
205 - Bradford Vaughan 69 70 66, Jake Roos 67 72 66, Jean Hugo 68 69 68, Vaughn Groenewald 63 74 68, Justin Walters 65 70 70
206 - Trevor Fisher Jnr 68 70 68
207 - Peter Karmis 70 69 68, Desvonde Botes 73 66 68, Michiel Bothma 68 70 69, Branden Grace 68 69 70, Doug McGuigan 71 65 71, Prinavin Nelson 65 68 74
208 - Alex Haindl 71 72 65, Ryan Thompson 68 71 69, Darren Fichardt 68 69 71, Louis de Jager 67 69 72
209 - Tyrone Mordt 69 69 71, Divan van den Heever 69 69 71, Jacques Blaauw 70 67 72
210 - Warren Abery 71 72 67, Mark Murless 73 69 68, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 69 72 69, Oliver Bekker 68 70 72, Marius Beukes 69 69 72
211 - Brandon Pieters 71 71 69, Dean O'Riley 69 71 71, Joe Nawanga (NAM) 67 73 71, Colin Nel 71 68 72, Bryce Easton 71 67 73, Allan Versfeld 67 70 74
212 - Tyrone Ferreira 68 75 69, Wallie Coetsee 69 73 70, Grant Muller 70 71 71, Mark Fensham 69 72 71, Mark Williams 69 71 72, Callie Swart 72 67 73, Justin Harding 71 68 73
213 - Andrew Georgiou 70 73 70, Bennie van der Merwe 70 73 70, Matthew Carvell 71 71 71, Jbe' Kruger 70 71 72, Jeremy Kavanagh (ENG) 70 71 72, Alexandre Chopard (SUI) 68 72 73, Ockie Strydom 70 69 74, Francois Hanekom 70 67 76
214 - Tyrone Ryan 77 66 71, Lourens Kleynhans 76 66 72, Walter Els 69 72 73, Divan Gerber 67 74 73, Andre Cruse 73 66 75, Steven Ferreira 68 69 77
215 - Johan du Buisson 73 70 72, TC Charamba (ZIM) 71 71 73, David Hewan 71 70 74, Derek Scullard 72 69 74, Daniel Greene 70 69 76, Omar Sandys 70 69 76
216 - Thabang Simon 71 71 74, Jake Redman 69 73 74
218 - Ulrich van den Berg 71 72 75, Johan Etsebeth 68 74 76
219 - Robson Saurombe (ZIM) 70 73 76, Louis Moolman 74 68 77

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