Desvonde Botes made 10 points during the third round of the Investec Royal Swazi Sun Open on Friday, retaining the lead by one point as the competition heated up at Royal Swazi Golf Club.
ÂIÂm feeling good. I havenÂt been in this position for quite a while, so IÂm looking forward to tomorrow to really be in contention again. Today gave me a lot of confidence. I didnÂt play that well, but I held it together nicely and made sure I was in the right position for tomorrow,Â he said.
The Sunshine Tour veteran stayed cool, keeping bogeys from his card and securing his place atop the leaderboard of the R1-million tournament, one point clear of Christiaan Basson and Danie van Tonder.
ÂI played nicely,Â said Botes. ÂNot as good as yesterday, but I held it together and made a couple of clutch putts for par. ÂThe game is solid, and it gives me confidence to sink a few putts. IÂm getting it off the tee and making a lot of fairways, a lot of greens.Â
Van Tonder made an incredible 21 points, vaulting up the leaderboard and into a share of second.
ÂI was hitting the ball well,Â he said. ÂAnd chipping well, which is the secret of these greens Â chip and putt. ItÂs completely different being here for the first time Â the more birdies the more points. IÂve been attacking the pins quite a lot, I donÂt actually lay-up on this course.Â
The 21-year-old, who finished tied 29th at the Africa Open in January, enjoyed the round and its outcome. ÂIt would be nice if I could win this. IÂm standing with a chance after I came back today. I made one eagle, eight birdies and the rest were pars, so it was a fun day,Â he said.
BassonÂs consistent style was rewarded on Friday, and his steady 11 points earned him a spot in the last match. ÂIÂm playing solidly Â I made a lot of birdies and I was fortunate to play so nicely. I had a bit of a disappointing finish, but I have to look at the overall picture and I shot a good score. It was a good day.
ÂI had a solid week, and yesterday I had really good day. IÂm feeling good Â IÂm excited to be in this position, because youÂre always going to learn when youÂre in the final three-ball, no matter how it turns out. Hopefully tomorrow has a positive outcome,Â he said.
Botes was keen on victory and had a plan for the final round on Saturday. ÂWe have to take it on in this format. All you can do is hit shot-by-shot as good as you can and hopefully itÂs good enough,Â he said.