Alfred Dunhill Championship: Charl Schwartzel takes two-shot lead at Leopard Creek
Last Updated: 01/12/13 10:48am
Charl Schwartzel during the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club
Defending champion Charl Schwartzel took control of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek on Saturday as he opened up a two-shot lead in the third round.
The man who won this event 12 months ago by an amazing 12 shots showed once again that he loves the track in his native South Africa and is again the man to beat going into Sunday's final round.
Former Masters champion Schwartzel went from a share of the lead to outright leader as he carded a five-under third round of 67 to move to 13-under for the tournament and lead Richard Finch by two shots.
Third round leaders:
(RSA unless stated)
-13 C Schwartzel
-11 R Finch (Eng)
-10 V Riu (Fra)
-9 R Wattel (Fra)
-8 S Hansen (Den)
Click here for collated scores n
Schwartzel started the day in a share of the lead with Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen, a player he lost out to in a final-round battle for the South African Open last week.
But while Madsen got off to a nightmare start with bogeys at the first two holes, Schwartzel birdied the par-five second and then made a potentially decisive move around the turn.
A superb approach to the eighth left the South African with a tap-in birdie and another followed from six feet on the ninth to be out in 32.
Further birdies on the 12th and 13th took Schwartzel to 13 under par and a two-shot lead over England's Finch, who responded superbly with his 67 coming on the back of finishing the second bogey, bogey, double-bogey on Friday.
France's Victor Riu dropped a late shot but still recorded the third five-under round of 67 in the leading trio as he closed on ten-under to take sole possession of third place.
"I played a lot better today than the first two days," said Schwartzel. "I felt far more comfortable and I played a lot more aggressive - there were still a couple of holes I didn't feel that comfortable so just settled for pars to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
"I gave myself a lot of chances but the greens very late in the afternoon have a few spikes marks and the ball is bouncing around a lot so it's hard to make a lot of putts.
"I've got a two shot lead and today I kept the scoreboard ticking over and if I can do that tomorrow that will put the pressure on those chasing me so they'll have to earn the right to beat me."
Madsen had a nightmare day following his opening two bogeys - adding five more and one double against just two birdies in his seven-over round of 79 that dropped him back down to one-over for the event.