Pablo overcomes mistakes to hold Leopard Creek lead

Malelane - Pablo Larrazabal of Spain made some mistakes in the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek on Saturday, but he still finished up three strokes ahead of his nearest challenger after a two-under-par 70.

He made three bogeys on a stiflingly hot day, but five birdies - including a chip-in for two on the 12th after a wayward tee shot - kept him clear of Wil Besseling of the Netherlands, who also carded a 70, with South Africa’s Branden Grace hanging on for a 71 to be four shots back ahead of the final round.

"Mistakes happen, and with this heat, they're going to happen more," said Larrazabal. "We have to allow ourselves to make mistakes and that's what we did."

He started well, with two birdies in the opening six holes, but then his swing looked as if it was going to desert him. He bogeyed seven, and then got very lucky with a hooked tee shot on nine. He was able to recover after his ball hit a rock and bounced out of a stream, and a bogey was a good result there.

He pulled it back together with three birdies in five holes after the turn, but he was not able to take advantage of the par-fives on 15 and 18, and he made a bogey five on the 17th.

"A little bit disappointed with the finish with three fives in the last four holes, but I cannot be disappointed with the lead," he said. "The three fives were not in my game plan but I am very happy with the way I'm playing and the way I'm approaching every single shot of the week."

Besseling finished very well, with his homeward nine producing three birdies and no bogeys - an exceptional result after he dropped shots consecutively on seven and eight.

Grace made three bogeys during his round to go with his four bogeys as he set about trying to trim Larrazabal's lead.

"That's why I went for the green in two on the 18th," said Grace of his approach that ended up in the water around the famous closing hole and led to a bogey six to close for him.

In a share of fourth place were South Africa's Zander Lombard and Marcus Armitage of England, who provided the only eagle of the day on 18.

For Larrazabal, there is still work to be done, despite his lead.

"I'm in the driver's seat," he said. "I have to do a lot of things this afternoon and tonight to be prepared for tomorrow. You have to be 100 percent mentally prepared on this course, 100 percent focused."

Scores:

205 - Pablo Larrazabal 66 69 70

208 - Wil Besseling 65 73 70

209 - Branden Grace 68 70 71

211 - Zander Lombard 72 70 69, Marcus Armitage 70 70 71

212 - Joel Sjoholm 70 74 68, MJ Viljoen 72 71 69, Charl Schwartzel 70 72 70, Adrian Otaegui 69 72 71

213 - Johannes Veerman 72 71 70

214 - Laurie Canter 71 73 70, Gregory Havret 72 72 70, Justin Harding 70 73 71

215 - Adrian Meronk 69 76 70, David Drysdale 68 77 70, Jack Singh Brar 68 72 75

216 - Richard Bland 76 71 69, Jayden Schaper 73 73 70, Eddie Pepperell 71 73 72, Jaco Ahlers 72 72 72, Richard Sterne 70 74 72, George Coetzee 73 71 72, Daniel van Tonder 68 75 73, Jaco Van Zyl 69 72 75, Garrick Porteous 66 75 75

217 - Calum Hill 73 73 71, Wilco Nienaber 72 73 72, Daniel Greene 72 73 72, Keith Horne 66 79 72, Benjamin Poke 73 72 72, Connor Syme 69 75 73, Robin Roussel 68 75 74, Jonathan Caldwell 74 69 74

218 - Clement Sordet 72 75 71, Alejandro Canizares 67 77 74, Thomas Aiken 68 72 78

219 - Jeff Winther 75 72 72, Edoardo Molinari 74 73 72, Haydn Porteous 73 71 75, Alex Haindl 71 72 76, Dylan Naidoo 71 72 76, Antoine Rozner 74 67 78

220 - Grant Forrest 68 79 73, Lee Slattery 72 75 73, Jacques Blaauw 73 73 74, Hennie Otto 78 68 74, Renato Paratore 74 71 75, Martin Rohwer 69 75 76, Lars van Meijel 74 70 76, Rasmus Hojgaard 72 70 78

221 - Adilson Da Silva 70 76 75, James Morrison 72 71 78, Jack Harrison 71 72 78, Matthieu Pavon 71 72 78

222 - Ernie Els 74 73 75, Christiaan Basson 71 74 77, Adrien Saddier 71 73 78, JC Ritchie 72 71 79

223 - David Law 72 75 76, Keenan Davidse 76 71 76, Oliver Wilson 73 73 77, Pedro Figueiredo 72 74 77, Matthew Jordan 69 74 80

224 - Thriston Lawrence 77 68 79, Lorenzo Gagli 74 70 80, Oliver Bekker 73 71 80, Toby Tree 70 73 81

225 - Brandon Stone 72 75 78

226 - Carlos Pigem 74 71 81

228 - Ross Fisher 74 73 81

233 - Niklas Lemke 72 73 88

- Sunshine Tour