News24

Garth leads Alfred Dunhill

2011-11-19 17:18

Malelane - He made five birdies in a row on his homeward nine on Saturday, and that purple patch gave Garth Mulroy the third round lead in the €1-million Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

He carded a superlative eight-under-par 64 to move into a two-stroke lead over Felipe Aguilar, the Chilean who signed for a 68 after his second-round 64.

“I was a bit disappointed to miss out on a birdie on 18,” deadpanned Mulroy after he picked up shots on each of the holes from the 13th to the 17th, “but I suppose the best way to fix that would be to go out and get a birdie on my first hole tomorrow.”

He started his round fast with a pair of birdies on the first two holes, and picked up a third on the sixth hole.

He kept things tidy around the turn - the seventh, eighth and ninth have been difficult all week - and after six successive pars, he unleashed his birdie blitz.

“I had a look at the leaderboard after the 11th hole,” he said, “and I saw Merrick (Bremner) was at 12-under and I said to my caddie that it would be nice to start making a few and give the guy something to watch out for.”

He was standing over his 15-footer, and it went in.

“And then on 13 I got unlucky on Friday, and I got lucky on Saturday,” he said. “I didn’t hit a great shot in, but got to eight to 10 feet and made that. On 14, I hit a good pitching wedge in, cutting it around a little ridge, and made about an eight-footer; 15 was a two-putt birdie; on 16, I hit a nice five-iron in, and made a putt that broke about 18 or 20 inches from about 12 feet; and on 17, I was a little unsure of the yardage, but I hit it pin-high and happened to make that up the hill from about 15 or 18 feet.”

His flawless round was in stark contrast to the woes of halfway leader Jbe’ Kruger, who battled his way to a one-over-par 73 in a round which differed markedly from his opening 36 holes. “I just couldn’t hit it straight all day,” he said. “I had no rhythm at all.”

He spent half his day in fairway bunkers, or scrambling around the greens, and then his putting deserted him too. “I couldn’t make anything, and when you can’t do that it’s very difficult,” he said. He made four bogeys – three on the opening nine – and never looked as if the smile which split his features on Friday would return to his face. “When you make a few bad ones to start, it’s very difficult to come back,” he said.

Aguilar made three bogeys in his round, but he countered those with seven birdies, including four in a row from 13 to 16.

Kruger was in a share of third with Scotland’s Peter Whiteford who carded a 64 to match Mulroy, South Africa’s Hennie Otto, and Whiteford’s countryman George Murray.

Bremner pulled his tee shot on the 18th way left, hit his approach into the water, and ended up making a good double bogey seven for a round of 69 and sole possession of seventh ahead of the final round.

The pursuit of Mulroy will be a tough one, as he is determined to end a year that has been inconsistent with a victory.

“It will be nice to finish the year off with something special at the end of the year – another 64 would be fine,” he laughed.

Scores (RSA unless specified):

201 - Garth Mulroy 69 68 64

203 - Felipe Aguilar (CHL) 71 64 68

204 - Peter Whiteford(SCO) 73 67 64, Hennie Otto 69 68 67, George Murray (SCO) 66 69 69, Jbe' Kruger 64 67 73

205 - Merrick Bremner 68 68 69

206 - Andrea Pavan (ITA) 68 70 68, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA) 66 71 69, George Coetzee 66 71 69

207
- Vaughn Groenewald 76 65 66

208 - Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 70 71 67, Darren Fichardt 71 70 67, Linus Gillgren (SWE) 69 71 68, Christiaan Basson 70 70 68, Mikko Korhonen (FIN) 68 70 70, Jaco Van Zyl 68 68 72, Seve Benson (ENG) 64 71 73

209 - Steven Tiley (ENG) 70 69 70, Lloyd Saltman (SCO) 70 68 71

210 - Phillip Price (WAL) 74 70 66, Graeme Storm (ENG) 72 68 70, Alan McLean (SCO) 66 73 71, Robert Dinwiddie (ENG) 71 68 71, Tjaart van der Walt 69 69 72, Bryce Easton 72 65 73

211 - Robert Rock (ENG) 69 75 67, Doug McGuigan 70 73 68, Jarmo Sandelin (SWE) 76 67 68, Robert Coles (ENG) 74 69 68, Alastair Forsyth(SCO) 75 68 68, Josh Cunliffe 67 75 69, Sam Little (ENG) 70 72 69, James Kamte 72 70 69

212 - Andrew Curlewis 72 70 70, Oliver Bekker 73 69 70, Grant Muller 72 68 72

213
- Richard McEvoy (ENG) 72 72 69, Tim Sluiter (NED) 70 74 69, Martin Maritz 77 67 69, Keith Horne 74 70 69, Justin Walters 71 72 70, Trevor Fisher Jnr 72 70 71, Lee Slattery (ENG) 67 75 71, Stuart Manley (WAL) 71 71 71, Adam Gee (ENG) 72 70 71, Joel Sjoholm (SWE) 74 66 73, David Hewan 67 71 75

214 - Shaun Norris 71 72 71, Carlos Del Moral (ESP) 72 70 72

215 - Sebi Garcia (ESP) 73 71 71, Jurgen Maurer (AUT) 78 65 72, Oskar Henningsson (SWE) 76 67 72, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 72 71 72, Jean Hugo 69 73 73

217 - Neil Schietekat 69 75 73, Allan Versfeld 75 69 73

218
- Cesar Monasterio (ARG) 72 72 74, Warren Abery 75 69 74, Tano Goya (ARG) 69 70 79

219 - Liam Bond (WAL) 69 75 75, Sam Hutsby (ENG) 72 71 76

221 - Alan Michell 71 73 77, Tyrone Mordt 68 75 78

222 - Des Terblanche 72 72 78

223
- Michiel Bothma 71 73 79

225
- Chris Swanepoel 69 71 85

Sport24