European Tour

Two-man race at Joburg Open

2013-02-09 18:27
Richard Sterne (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Richard Sterne and Trevor Fisher jnr will take their third round battle into Sunday’s final round of the Joburg Open when they tee off tied for the lead at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

The two golfers shared the lead going into Saturday’s third round, and neither was willing to give way as they finished the round still locked at the top of the leaderboard, this time at 19-under-par.

VIDEO: Joburg Open Round 3 highlights

Their nearest challengers are five strokes back, including Charl Schwartzel who made a good par at the last after an adventurous trip into the trees and hitting the scoreboard with his third.

But the matching 68s that both Sterne and Fisher carded was a glimpse of how they mirrored each other’s games on Saturday.

Both birdied the first to get off to a good start. Sterne then went one ahead with a birdie on the sixth. But after their birdies on seven, Fisher birdied eight and nine as well to turn one clear of his playing partner.

His back nine started poorly though with successive bogeys, and Sterne’s birdie on 11 put him two clear. Fisher responded with birdies on 12 and 13 to draw level again, and both bogeyed the 15th and birdied the 18th.

“It was pretty good going out there,” said Sterne, who’s starting to feel the mental and physical pressure of chasing a victory for the second week in succession.

“It’s quite draining for two weeks in a row, but I’d rather be here than in the middle of the pack. But the heart is pumping quite fast out there,” he said.

Fisher certainly felt it as well, especially when he took the lead into the back nine and then made his two bogeys.

“A bit of nerves set in there. You try not to think about the lead, but it’s there in front of you. I was a bit jumpy with the swing and wasn’t waiting at the top, so I hit a few bad shots there. But I came back nicely with a few birdies. It’s just a feeling, and you’ve got to try and feel comfortable out there as much as possible.”

Both players were at one stage as much as six shots ahead of the field and admitted it felt like match play out there.

But with Jaco van Zyl, Felipe Aguilar, George Coetzee and Schwartzel all within reach on 14-under, Sterne and Fisher know their focus will have to extend to beyond just their two-ball on Sunday.

Scores (RSA unless specified):

196 - Richard Sterne 63 65 68, Trevor Fisher Jnr 66 62 68

201 - Jaco Van Zyl 66 68 67, Felipe Aguilar (CHL) 67 66 68, Charl Schwartzel 68 65 68, George Coetzee 67 64 70

202 - Peter Uihlein (USA) 65 69 68

203 - Garth Mulroy 70 68 65, Thomas Aiken 67 70 66, Lorenzo Gagli (ITA) 67 68 68, David Drysdale (SCO) 68 67 68, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 68 66 69

204 - Tom Lewis (ENG) 72 65 67, Dean Burmester 67 68 69, Ricardo Santos (POR) 70 65 69, Keith Horne 67 66 71

205 - Paul Waring (ENG) 71 67 67, Danie van Tonder 68 70 67, Justin Walters 71 67 67, Brandon Pieters 69 69 67, James Kamte 70 67 68, Tjaart van der Walt 67 69 69, Bryce Easton 65 70 70

206 - Robert-Jan Derksen (NED) 69 70 67, Lee Slattery (ENG) 67 72 67, Hennie Otto 70 67 69, George Murray (SCO) 71 66 69, James Kingston 66 70 70, Oliver Fisher (ENG) 68 68 70, Ricardo Gonzalez (ARG) 70 66 70, Darren Fichardt 67 69 70, Tyrone Mordt 65 70 71, Richard Finch (ENG) 67 68 71, MJ Daffue 65 70 71

207 - Ulrich van den Berg 71 68 68, Steve Webster (ENG) 71 67 69, Alessandro Tadini (ITA) 67 71 69, Gary Boyd (ENG) 67 71 69, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 67 70 70, Tyrone Ferreira 66 70 71, Maximilian Kieffer (GER) 63 72 72, Jose Manuel Lara (ESP) 69 65 73

208 - Allan Versfeld 66 73 69, Jaco Ahlers 71 68 69, Phillip Price (WAL) 68 71 69, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 66 72 70, Jacques Blaauw 70 67 71

209 - Justin Harding 69 70 70, Jake Redman 66 71 72, Espen Kofstad (NOR) 66 71 72, Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 65 71 73, Bjorn Akesson (SWE) 69 67 73, Oliver Bekker 68 68 73

210 - Michael Hollick 70 69 71, Bradford Vaughan 69 70 71, Alexandre Kaleka (FRA) 66 73 71, Scott Henry (SCO) 69 70 71, David Horsey (ENG) 66 72 72, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 68 70 72, Ockie Strydom 66 71 73, Merrick Bremner 68 69 73

211 - PH McIntyre 72 67 72, Peter Hedblom (SWE) 72 67 72, Graeme Storm (ENG) 76 62 73, Lasse Jensen(DEN) 68 70 73

212 - Jbe' Kruger 68 70 74

213 - Gregory Havret (FRA) 70 69 74

214 - Gary Lockerbie (ENG) 70 69 75

219 - Joshua Cunliffe 67 70 82

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