14th April 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Haindl maintains slender Zanaco lead
Alex Haindl maintained his spot on the summit of the leaderboard in the Zanaco Masters after he shot a 70 on moving day, which took his total to 11-under for the tournament and a single shot away from the chasing pack on Saturday.
Despite playing well at Lusaka in the third round, Haindl found little joy in the way of birdies and only managed to make two of those on the front nine. They were, nevertheless, canceled out by the shots he dropped on his very first hole and the par-three third. His back nine was a lot better despite not making any birdies there because the eagle he made on the par-four 15th was just what he needed to bounce back after failing to make gains on the par-five 14th.
“I was a bit frustrated with myself for not birdieing the par-five,” Haindl said of the eagle he made. “but, they had the tee up so we can go for the green and I hit it. So that was one good thing that happened today.”
He was happy with the way he has played in Zambia this week and isn’t too worried about not scoring as well as he playing. “I would rather have it the other way around,” he said. “I wouldn’t like to be scoring well while I’m not playing well. But you have to be patient because somewhere some putts will go in”
He will be going into the final round aiming to strike a healthy balance between a full-on attack and a conservative approach but refuses to get ahead of himself.
“If you are hitting it well and making a few putts, you can go low here,” said Haindl, “but like I said earlier in the week, this course can also punish you. So, there’s a balance between being over-aggressive and being over-conservative but its always possible. I’d love to win, we all would, but there are a lot of guys around the lead who have won big events so for me, I’m just going to go out and play as well as I can.”
He is experienced enough to understand that the competition is only about to get tougher. Current Dimension Data Pro-Am champion, Jaco Ahlers, along with JJ Senekal and Stephen Ferreira are lurking dangerously behind him in a share of the second spot. And they are just one back. Ahlers’ round three 69 means he has shot three consecutive rounds in the 60s in Zambia, a show of good form by many standards.
“Three rounds in the 60s, and unfortunately not as low as I want but still in with a shot tomorrow and that’s all you would like to have on a Sunday,” Ahlers said. “Tomorrow, I’m going for everything. We all want to win. Nobody wants to finish second. We all want to have trophies in the cabinet.”
It was the trio of Keith Horne, Titch Moore and Andre De Decker, however, which made moving day count in Lusaka. They all signed for 67s but it was Horne who was more clinical on day three, shooting a flawless round to get to a share of eighth with the same duo plus Lyle Rowe whose round could have been much better had he not made a double-bogey on the 13th.
With the weather forecast showing heavy winds for Sunday in Lusaka, and with things as tight as they are on the leaderboard, the final round will prove to be a stern test.