South Africans Jacques Blaauw and Neil Schietekat and Spain’s Santiago Tarrio will head into Sunday’s final round of the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open in a three-way tie for the lead at the Royal Cape Golf Club.
Blaauw kept the place he’s held at the top of the leaderboard since day one with a third round 70 on Saturday, lifting him to 11 under par for the tournament. Schietekat signed for a bogey-free 67 to join him there, and Tarrio came through with a strong back nine for his own 67 and a share of the lead. They are two strokes clear of the field.
On a magnificent day in Cape Town, Blaauw was looking very comfortable with a three-shot lead through 14 holes. But a tee shot into the water on the par-three 15th led to a double bogey, and Schietekat’s birdie there saw them level on 11 under. Tarrio completed the leading trio with a back nine of three birdies and an eagle.
“It all went according to plan except for one hole,” Blaauw said of his double bogey on the 15th. “I just made one bad swing. I thought it would clear the water but the ball just kind of stalled in the air. But overall I’m very pleased.”
It has been a particularly good week for Blaauw in the province where he honed his game, and his place at the top of the leaderboard comes after three missed cuts before this.
“Obviously with the form I had coming in I didn’t expect much this week. But I’ve had some good memories coming back to the Cape. My mental game has been good this week, and I’m looking forward to the final round.
“It’s going to be a good battle out there. It’s a very important final round for me. I’ve only got Sunshine Tour status and I’d love to be able to play somewhere else. I would love to get onto another stage.”
Schietekat took one look at the weather on Saturday morning and had expectations of his own for the third round.
“You know that Saturday is moving day and you need to shoot around the 68 or 67 mark to move anywhere, and I shot 67. I hit some good and bad shots, and made some great up-and-downs. There was a lot of scrambling today but sometimes you have to do that on days when you’re not hitting the ball so well. I’ll tighten that up on the range before the final round,” he said.
And Tarrio is delighted to be where he is considering he’s been playing without his own driver all week.
“I broke my driver in the practice round and played the first two rounds with a pro shop driver, and today I played with a new driver. I’m driving it horrible this week, but I’m making a lot of up-and-downs and making good putts. My mental game is very good.” – Michael Vlismas
Photo: Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour