Saturday, November 10, 2018

Sergio goes two shots clear at Nedbank Challenge in South Africa

Sergio Garcia fired a 71 on day three of the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player to open up a two-shot lead as he looks for a wire-to-wire victory in the seventh Rolex Series event of the season.
The Spaniard led by four after round one but fellow Major Champion Louis Oosthuizen cut that to one shot after 36 holes and the South African will be the nearest challenger heading into Sunday at Gary Player Country Club.
The 38 year old will enter the final day at ten under as he looks to make it back-to-back wins after triumphing at the Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by his own foundation, with Oosthuizen carding a 72 to sit in second.
Garcia has nine wins from his previous fourteen 54-hole leads on the European Tour and would be the second wire-to-wire winner of the season after Eddie Pepperell at the Sky Sports British Masters.
A victory would be Garcia's second wire-to-wire win in the last two seasons and his third triumph at Gary Player Country Club after winning this event in 2001 and 2003 before it joined the European Tour International Schedule.
Belgian Thomas Detry, Finn Mikko Korhonen and England's Lee Westwood were then at seven under, a shot clear of another Englishman in Ross Fisher, who mounted a remarkable comeback with a 67 after dropping eight shots in his last four holes on Friday.
Local favourite Darren Fichardt carded a 67 to sit at four under, a shot clear of fellow South African Dean Burmester and French duo Benjamin Hebert and Mike Lorenzo-Vera.
In the quest to stay in the hunt for the Race to Dubai next week, Li Haotong and Lucas Bjerregaard both need a win but were ten and 14 shots back respectively, while Rory McIlroy - who needs a top-two finish - was at level par.
Player Quotes
Sergio Garcia: “I thought it was pretty good. The course is playing tough. It's playing difficult, but I felt like probably I didn't get much out of my round. I felt like I was quite consistent.
“Maybe I could have been a little bit more aggressive hitting a couple shots here and there but I gave myself a good amount of chances. Unfortunately, the putts didn't want to drop but at the end of the day, shooting under par, still in the lead, I'm happy with that.
“I'm just going to keep trying to do the same thing. I know the course is going to be playing tough again. I'm going to go out and try to shoot under par like I've done all three days. I think if I can manage to shoot somewhere in the 60s, maybe 70 might be enough.
“It would be great. Winning any tournament, it's always amazing, but winning here, a Rolex Series Event, obviously extra special. It would be really nice, and you know, we're going to try to do that.”
Louis Oosthuizen: “It was tough for me. Didn't play well. Didn't hit many good shots, really. So I realised early on that it was a round I needed to keep together and not really blow myself out of the tournament. I hung in there nicely. A little bit of a stupid error on 14, but other than that, the way I was playing today, I'm very happy to be two behind.
“I enjoy playing with the leader. It's what we play for to be in that spot, playing the last group on a Sunday. I just need to go out and fire at pins and hopefully have a good round.
Lee Westwood: “I think it requires hitting it straight, and I think it requires a lot of patience because the breeze is changing, and you do get some strange things happening out there because of where it is.
“I've always enjoyed putting on these greens. A lot of imagination on them. Sometimes you get some big breaking putts. It reminds me in a little way of Augusta the way you have to tackle it. You have to play away from pins and sometimes you have putts that you don't want or leave in a spot where you can't get it up-and-down.
“I'm always excited when I'm in contention. It's always lovely being in the last couple of groups in this tournament, the crowds are always very enthusiastic and given me a lot of support.”
Thomas Detry: “It's so hard out here, and I almost lost my head  after bogeying pretty much the easiest hole on the golf course. Patience paid off. I was very pleased. I made three good putts, and was very pleased to finish with an amazing four on the last hole.
“These are the biggest events at the end of the year, so it's great to be able to play some of my best golf out here and still feel like that I have some left in the tank, so I'm very excited for the next few weeks and for tomorrow.
Mikko Korhonen: “Pretty solid. Hit it pretty well off the tee. Didn't miss many greens, and when I missed, I missed the right place. A couple of bad ones on the front nine, as well, like yesterday, but I did pretty good.
“Very excited. Hope to put together another solid round and see how I end up.”
Round Three Scores
par 216 (3x72)
206 S Garcia (Spn) 64 71 71
208 L Oosthuizen (SAf) 69 67 72
209 T Detry (Belgium) 75 66 68, L Westwood (Eng) 71 69 69 M Korhonen (Finland) 68 70 71
210 R Fisher (Eng) 71 72 67
212 D Fichardt (SAf) 74 67 71
213 D Burmester (SAf) 72 71 70, B Hebert (Fra) 69 75 69, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 73 72,
214 S Lowry (Ire) 71 69 74, N Colsaerts (Belgium) 75 69 70, M Wallace (Eng) 69 72 73,
215 B Grace (SAf) 70 71 74, A Johnston (Eng) 73 69 73, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 71 71 73, A Rai (Eng) 72 68 75, J Scrivener (Australia) 69 76 70, D Frittelli (SAf) 73 67 75,
216 A Pavan (Ita) 71 70 75, R Sterne (SAf) 77 69 70, M Kaymer (Ger) 76 69 71, R McIlroy (NIre) 72 71 73, A Wu (China) 69 73 74, C Schwartzel (SAf) 68 78 70, O Fisher (Eng) 75 70 71, H Li (China) 71 70 75
217 C Paisley (Eng) 72 75 70, J Lagergren (Swe) 72 74 71, J Luiten (Netherlands) 72 75 70, A Sullivan (Eng) 69 74 74, A Otaegui (Spn) 74 72 71, R Fox (NZ) 70 73 74
218 T Immelman (SAf) 74 73 71, R Paratore (Ita) 72 71 75, P Larrazábal (Spn) 74 70 74,
219 R Rock (Eng) 75 73 71, W Ormsby (Australia) 73 74 72, J Dantorp (Swe) 77 73 69, J Guerrier (Fra) 74 68 77, E Van Rooyen (SAf) 77 69 73, S Horsfield (Eng) 73 72 74, M Schwab (Austria) 72 71 76
220 S Sharma (India) 74 75 71, J Campillo (Spn) 71 78 71, P Harrington (Ire) 73 73 74, L Herbert (Australia) 76 69 75, P Waring (Eng) 72 76 72, G Coetzee (SAf) 73 79 68, L Bjerregaard (Denmark) 75 70 75, B Stone (SAf) 74 71 75, J Smith (Eng) 79 69 72
221 P Dunne (Ire) 78 71 72, L Slattery (Eng) 74 73 74, D Willett (Eng) 78 71 72
222 M Kieffer (Ger) 75 71 76, S Gallacher (Sco) 77 75 70, T Aiken (SAf) 76 77 69, N Elvira (Spn) 74 73 75, K Aphibarnrat (Thailand) 75 74 73, H Tanihara (Jpn) 74 79 69
223 G Green (Malaysia) 75 70 78, R McEvoy (Eng) 72 76 75, M Pavon (Fra) 78 73 72, A Björk (Swe) 75 75 73
224 T Pulkkanen (Finland) 71 76 77, T Bjørn (Denmark) 76 73 75, T Lewis (Eng) 75 71 78 M Southgate (Eng) 80 73 71
229 A Chesters (Eng) 78 73 78
231 M Kinhult (Swe) 74 74 83
** A Levy (Fra) 81 70 retired

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