Trevor Fisher, Jnr bogeyed the 18th, but he had already done enough on Saturday at Royal Harare Golf Club to share the 54-hole lead of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open.
ÂI donÂt know if it was nerves on the back nine, but it was tough out there. This is a nice track, and I enjoy coming here. I finished fourth here in 2010, and I enjoy playing here every year,Â he said.
The 32-year-old opened up a five-stroke lead after he turned in a magnificent 31 strokes, but struggled on the second loop, allowing Ruan de Smidt to join him in the clubhouse at 12-under-par.
ÂVery disappointed in my back nine,Â said Fisher. ÂI played really nicely on the first nine and then on the back nine I just made stupid mistakes. And on the 18th I three-putted from very close, where I was really looking to try to make birdie and move to 14-under. Just felt a bit uncomfortable with my putter on the back nine.Â
The Modderfontein Golf Club professional has four Sunshine Tour wins to his name, but got ahead of himself on the second loop, dropping shots at the 10th, 14th and 18th. ÂI try not to look at the scoreboard, but it obviously did affect me. Maybe I was thinking a bit too much,Â he said.
De Smidt, the rookie who won Sunshine Tour Qualifying School, was excited about his first time in contention, despite his nerves showing on the first few holes.
ÂI started with three-putts on one and then on two, and then had a very good birdie-putt on three,Â he said. ÂBut I threw that away with a terrible tee-shot on five.
ÂAfter that shaky start I played really well. I just thought that I had to stay calm, and hope to bring it back. Birdies at seven and eight helped me, because then I aimed to go below par on the last nine, and I got it to three-under. IÂm looking forward to tomorrow.Â
A confident Fisher knew what his plans for the final round were, and added: ÂIÂm just going to try to hit the par-threes in the middle, because those are the tough holes here, and birdie the par-fives. I want to sink some putts tomorrow Â IÂve been putting so well over the last few days that the back stretch today was a shock. WeÂll see what happens.Â