Adilson Da Silva made three bogeys before the turn at Lusaka Golf Club on Saturday, but the Brazilian fought back with a potent second loop and claimed a one-stroke lead at the Zambia Sugar Open.
“I was just trying to play each shot, but the back nine is full of birdie holes, so I had to concentrate and produce the goods. It was satisfying to keep the scoring coming,” he said.
The 2010 Zambia Open winner was electric over the back nine in Lusaka and made four birdies along with an eagle at the 13th to reach 11-under-par ahead of the final round.
“It turned around for me after I knocked in that eagle putt from across the green on the 13th. I had 220 yards in and hit a grip-down rescue, which I managed to stop on the top of the green. Then I holed a 25-footer, so it was a big momentum swing,” he smiled.
The 41-year-old has played touring golf for 19 years and that experience helped him stay focused after making bogeys at the sixth, eighth and ninth. He took the drops in his stride and produced a birdie at the 10th to begin his recovery run.
“It was better on the back, because on the front nine I was starting to get annoyed. I missed small putts for par on eight and nine, but I managed to regroup,” he said.
2011 Zambia Open champion Doug McGuigan drained a 25-footer for birdie at the 18th to claim a share of second. With six Sunshine Tour titles under his belt, his entry into the final three-ball makes for a mouth-watering showdown.
“I see my little Brazilian friend is back up there!” he joked. “I’ve kept within a shot of him, so tomorrow should be full of fun.”
Matthew Carvell played his way into the final three-ball with a run of three birdies from the 13th to the 15th, which earned him a share of second on a 10-under-par.
The 28-year-old has knocked at victory’s door since the BMG Classic in October last year. He’s taken five top-10s since then, most recently finishing in a share of 10th at the Telkom PGA Championship. He was excited for another crack at victory.
“I’ve been patient and pulled myself back a couple of times, and my game is more solid than it was six months ago. I’m head strong now and I’m feeling good about tomorrow,” he said.
Zambian Mudalitso Muthiya will want to forget his double-bogey seven at the 10th, but finished the third round on a four-under-par total and has not ruled himself out completely. He’ll need to produce some fireworks tomorrow to give himself a chance at victory.