Andrew Georgiou went round the Lusaka Golf Club layout without any bogeys for the second successive round on Saturday to finish round three of the R1.5-million Zambia Sugar Open as he started it – in a share of the lead.
He made two birdies amidst a welter of pars to card a two-under 71 on the 6,608-metre par-73 course, while Vaughn Groenewald made three bogeys and five birdies as the pair eked out a one stroke edge over Welshman Rhys Enoch.
“We’ve kept it bogey-free for two days now, so that’s a win,” said Georgiou, who made seven birdies and two eagles in his second-round 62. “Not as many birdies today, but it was a good, solid round.”
It was a day when the course played a lot tougher than it did during the previous round, and the best scores came from Haydn Porteous and Danie van Tonder, who each carded six-under 67s, moving Porteous into a share of fourth, two strokes off the lead.
“The wind was blustery today,” said Georgiou. “There were a couple of times when it was a one or two club wind, and out here, the greens are so firm, if you just miss your number, you can miss it by 10 or 20 yards. It was tough. You had to hang in there.”
Groenewald scrapped his way to the turn in one-over, made another bogey on the back nine, and then closed with a flourish of two birdies to keep in touch with Georgiou. “The whole start didn’t go like I wanted it to,” he said. “I was one-under after six holes, and then I made two stupid bogeys. I made a good putt on 10 to go back to level, and then I made a stupid mistake on the par-five 14th to make bogey. But it wasn’t there today – I was just grinding the whole time.”
Porteous’ finish was the most impressive of all, as he made three birdies and an eagle over his last four holes to go racing up the leaderboard and get himself into contention.
Dean Burmester also rounded off proceedings in his round with an eagle, and, with just one drop on his card, the Zimbabwe Open champion seems set to have another run at a title.
With the knowledge that there is a gathering of players behind him –Van Tonder is also there after his 67, three shots off the pace – Georgiou knows that the final round will be more than simply a scrap between himself and Groenewald.
“It’s nice when Vaughn is playing well, because we are both kind of spurring each other on,” he said. “We can have a matchplay kind of situation. On the front nine, we can play our own game, and on the back nine, there are a few par-fives when we can have a go.”