Golf

Tjaart, Louis share Africa lead

2012-01-07 17:50
Tjaart van der Walt (Gallo Images)

East London - Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen was joined by fellow South African Tjaart van der Walt at the top of the leaderboard on Saturday after three rounds of the Africa Open.

Title holder Oosthuizen took a two-stroke advantage into the penultimate round of the first 2012 European Tour event after a birdie-packed 62, but had to settle for a six-under-par 67 third time round the East London Golf Club layout.

Van der Walt followed his second-round 64 with a 65 and goes into the final round level with 2010 Open winner Oosthuizen on 198 - 21-under-par on a part-links, part-parkland 6 190m course overlooking the Indian Ocean.

The race for the €158 500 first prize has developed into a battle between South Africa, England and Scotland with Swede Magnus Carlsson the lone 'outsider' among the top 12, who are separated by seven strokes.

Retief Goosen, the other Major winner in the field, occupies third place a stroke behind the leaders after a 66, followed by Englishman Danny Willett (65) on 200 and South African Richard Sterne (64) two shots further back.

Sterne returned the lowest round of the day on a course where a tight front nine is followed by a more spacious inward journey while Van der Walt, compatriots Darren Fichardt and Lyle Rowe and Willett carded a 65 each.

Seeking a first tournament triumph, Van der Walt made the perfect start with four consecutive birdies and added a further five while his sole blemish came with a bogey at the eighth.

"The golf ball does not know there are Major winners around so who can tell what may happen in the final round," said the golfer who has spent 16 trophy-less seasons on the professional circuit.

"I am controlling the ball as well as I have in a long time and not just from tee to green - on the greens as well and that is a good sign for me," chuckled Van der Walt.

Oosthuizen, only the fourth South African to raise the Claret Jug after the late Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Ernie Els, bogeyed 11 before rallying to birdie three of the final four holes.

"It was an elementary mistake," sighed the 29-year-old as he recalled the bogey. "Little chip outs seem easy but I erred in leaving it short of a tree for my approach to the green."

Sterne dealt ruthlessly with a course where the wind can wreak havoc by shooting seven birdies-- six on the outward nine - and an eagle as he makes a comeback after missing much of last season through injury.

Scores (RSA unless specified):

198 - Tjaart van der Walt 69 64 65, Louis Oosthuizen 69 62 67
199 - Retief Goosen 65 68 66
200 - Danny Willett (ENG) 67 68 65
202 - Richard Sterne 69 69 64
203 - Jaco van Zyl 71 65 67, Craig Lee (SCO) 68 67 68, Alastair Forsyth(SCO) 69 66 68
205 - Tyrone Ferreira 68 68 69, Richard Bland (ENG) 67 69 69, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 69 66 70, Thomas Aiken 64 69 72
206 - Darren Fichardt 71 70 65, Lyle Rowe 73 68 65, Ruan de Smidt 69 70 67, Grant Muller 69 69 68, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 69 69 68, Joshua Cunliffe 69 68 69, Tim Sluiter (NED) 68 69 69, Shaun Norris 67 70 69, Phillip Price (WAL) 66 71 69, Benn Barham (ENG) 70 66 70, Matthew Baldwin (ENG) 72 64 70, Jaco Ahlers 65 68 73
207 - Danie van Tonder 70 70 67, Agustin Domingo (ESP) 68 71 68, Allan Versfeld 69 70 68, Doug McGuigan 70 69 68, Peter Karmis 68 70 69, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 69 66 72
208 - Scott Pinckney (USA) 69 72 67, Edouard Dubois (FRA) 69 71 68, Julien Quesne (FRA) 69 71 68, Garth Mulroy 68 72 68, Maarten Lafeber (NED) 67 73 68, Andrew Marshall (ENG) 74 65 69, George Coetzee 71 68 69, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 71 66 71
209 - Alan McLean (SCO) 70 71 68, James Kingston 70 71 68, Dawie Van der Walt 70 70 69, Chris Wood (ENG) 69 71 69, Branden Grace 77 63 69, Jacques Blaauw 70 69 70, JJ Senekal 67 71 71, Taco Remkes (NED) 68 70 71, David Howell (ENG) 68 69 72, Sam Walker (ENG) 69 68 72, Keith Horne 69 67 73
210 - Reinier Saxton (NED) 71 70 69, David Drysdale (SCO) 72 69 69, Steven O'Hara (SCO) 70 70 70, Alessandro Tadini (ITA) 70 70 70, Ariel Canete (ARG) 71 68 71, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 73 66 71, Charles-Edouard Russo (FRA) 67 72 71, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA) 71 67 72, Sam Hutsby (ENG) 73 65 72
211 - Warren Abery 71 70 70, Albert Pistorius 71 69 71, Desvonde Botes 69 71 71, Bryce Easton 69 70 72
212 - Hendrik Buhrmann 72 69 71, Justin Walters 73 68 71, Andrew Georgiou 75 66 71, Jamie Elson (ENG) 70 71 71, Jordi Garcia (ESP) 68 73 71, Phillip Archer (ENG) 73 67 72, Wil Besseling (NED) 69 70 73, Adam Gee (ENG) 69 69 74
213 - Jamie Moul (ENG) 70 71 72, Merrick Bremner 69 70 74
214 - Vaughn Groenewald 73 68 73, Knut Borsheim (NOR) 70 68 76
215 - Matthew Nixon (ENG) 70 71 74, Dean O'Riley 66 75 74, JG Claassen 68 72 75, Titch Moore 74 66 75, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 71 68 76
217 - Oliver Wilson (ENG) 70 69 78
220 - Ockie Strydom 70 69 81

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