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Larrazábal stays on course at Leopard Creek

Larrazábal stays on course at Leopard Creek

Pablo Larrazábal remains in control of the Alfred Dunhill Championship after a third round 70 at Leopard Creek.


The Spaniard, who won the last of his four European Tour titles in 2015, moved to 11 under par to remain three clear of his nearest challenger.

First round leader Wil Besseling remains second after matching Larrazábal’s two under 70, with Branden Grace a shot further back in third after carding 71.

Larrazábal hit his approach to the fourth close to set up his first birdie of the day and added another at the sixth with a good chip.

Despite a solid start, the 36-year-old was struggling with his swing and found water for the second day running at the seventh.

An excellent third salvaged a bogey, but another wayward drive at the ninth was fortunate to stay dry and led to another bogey.

Grace was within two of the lead at that stage, but Larrazábal reasserted his dominance with a 12 footer on the tenth and an outstanding chip-in at 12th, where 24 hours earlier he had made an unlikely 100-foot putt.

A birdie from 20 feet at the 14th briefly took Larrazábal to 12 under, but he dropped a shot at the penultimate hole.

“I feel great, a little bit tired now but I feel good,” said Larrazabal. “It’s disappointing to finish with three fives in the last four holes but it was playing tricky.

“I didn’t play as good as yesterday but I played pretty solid.

“I care about the lead but I care about my game plan, and my game plan is not three fives in the last four. That’s why I’m disappointed, obviously I’m happy with the lead.

“I hung in there and we will see, it will be a fun Sunday afternoon.

“If I shoot in the 60s these guys are going to have to put some run on me tomorrow.”

Larrazábal’s initial lead had been trimmed to two before he teed off by an inspired Joel Sjöholm.

The Swede had eight birdies in his first 13 holes to charge into contention but bogeyed the 16th and ran up a double-bogey seven at the last for the second time this week to card a 68 that left him in a share of sixth on four under.

Dutchman Besseling made three birdies in four holes from the 11th to remain in contention for a maiden European Tour victory.

Home favourite Grace, who has won half of his eight European Tour titles in South Africa including victory here five years ago, had four birdies and three bogeys in his round.

South African Zander Lombard and England’s Marcus Armitage share fourth on five under.

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