Sunshine Tour

Bekker opens up big Zambia Open lead

2017-04-29 16:47
Oliver Bekker (Gallo Images)

Lusaka - He was relentless in the third round of the Zambia Open at Lusaka Golf Club on Saturday, and Oliver Bekker kept bogeys off his card as he stretched out to a four-stroke lead ahead of the final round.

Bekker was on 18-under after 54 holes as he made four birdies and an eagle during a round which featured a lot of scrambling, and his six-under-par 67 on the par-73 Lusaka layout gave him that substantial edge over Jared Harvey, who carded a one-under 72 after starting the third round in a share of the lead.

“Today was scrappy to say the least,” he said, “and I still managed to come out of it with six-under-par. I got lucky up-and-downing pretty much on every hole - it felt like that, anyway.

“On my good stretch from 10 to 14, I missed three of the five greens today, but I got lucky. I made eagle on 13, I made birdie on 10, and I made a great up-and-down on 14 for par… but by-and-large, I capitalised on the par-fives - that’s basically what kept me going.”

He started the day with a gesture of confidence: While virtually nobody else took driver off the first tee, Bekker pulled it from his bag and smacked his tee shot into the middle of the fairway.

“I’ve been hitting driver off the first every day,” he said. “I’ve hit the fairway twice and I actually made birdie the one time I missed it.

“I’ll use it again tomorrow, I think. It suits me because I know I’m not going to hit it left, so I can aim it up the left and just let it slide, and normally it’s pretty good,” he added.

That kind of start was significant because the front nine at Lusaka has been giving all the players a bit of a headache, and his closest contenders all battled on that section of the course today while he turned in two-under. Co-leaders Stephen Ferreira and Jared Harvey were each two-over for the first nine, while Rhys West opened with a double bogey on one and only managed to claw one shot back by the time he reached the turn.

“It was very important to go bogey-free there,” said Bekker. “I really scrambled well, which I’m very happy about, because in the first two rounds, I only missed four greens and I was six-over on those holes. Today, I missed seven or eight greens and I didn’t make a bogey.”

In that kind of mood, Bekker is going to be tough to catch in the final round, and must be close to grabbing his fifth Sunshine Tour title.

Scorecard:

201 - Oliver Bekker 68 66 67
205 - Jared Harvey 67 66 72
207 - Alex Haindl 71 70 66, Keenan Davidse 65 75 67, Chris Swanepoel 69 70 68, Adilson Da Silva 69 69 69, Thriston Lawrence 66 72 69, Stephen Ferreira 62 71 74
208 - Danie van Tonder 69 70 69, Jaco Mouton 66 71 71
209 - Christiaan Basson 70 70 69, Rhys West 66 69 74
210 - Ulrich van den Berg 66 76 68, JJ Senekal 70 71 69, Andre de Decker 72 69 69, Toby Tree 69 69 72
211 - Tyrone Ryan 69 74 68, Altaaf Bux 73 68 70, Coert Groenewald 68 70 73
212 - Combrinck Smit 71 73 68, Anthony Michael 69 74 69, Vaughn Groenewald 73 69 70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 69 73 70, Jack Harrison 71 70 71, Wynand Dingle 73 68 71, Jaco Ahlers 68 72 72, Luke Jerling 70 68 74
213 - Sean Bradley 73 72 68, Jason Froneman 72 72 69, Peter Karmis 70 72 71, Madalitso Muthiya 73 68 72, Doug McGuigan 70 71 72, Steve Surry 73 68 72, JC Ritchie 67 72 74, Jean Hugo 69 70 74, Hennie du Plessis 66 73 74, Francois Coetzee 70 68 75
214 - Scott Campbell 73 68 73, Breyten Meyer 70 71 73, Michael Palmer 73 68 73, Ruan Huysamen 71 68 75
215 - Jaco Prinsloo 70 75 70, Makhetha Mazibuko 73 72 70, Ryan Cairns 71 73 71, Desne Van Den Bergh 75 69 71, Merrick Bremner 75 69 71, Rourke van der Spuy 72 71 72, Jake Redman 70 73 72, Danie Van Niekerk 72 69 74, Riekus Nortje 70 70 75, Ruan de Smidt 71 68 76
216 - Cody Martin 73 70 73, Justin Harding 67 76 73, Allan Versfeld 72 70 74, Titch Moore 70 68 78
217 - Jonathan Agren 73 70 74, Zack Byrd 72 71 74, Matias Calderon 72 70 75, Neil Schietekat 72 70 75, Matthew Carvell 69 73 75
218 - Steven Ferreira 70 75 73, Richie O'Donovan 75 70 73
219 - Dongkwan Kim 73 72 74, Colin Nel 69 76 74, Antonio Costa 71 71 77, Lindani Ndwandwe 73 69 77
222 - Andrew Curlewis 75 70 77, Wallie Coetsee 70 75 77
224 - Jacquin Hess 73 72 79
225 - Ryan Tipping 75 70 80

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  zambia open  |  oliver bekker  |  golf
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