Joburg Open: Thomas Aiken and Justin Walters share third round lead
Last Updated: 08/02/14 3:11pm
Thomas Aiken: Surged to the top of the leaderboard on the back of a 63
Local favourites Thomas Aiken and Justin Walters are tied at the top of the leaderboard and will take a two-shot advantage into the final round of Joburg Open.
Aiken - who was born and still resides in Johannesburg - fired a best-of-the-day 63 to post 17-under and was later joined by Walters (64) - another Jo'burg native - who made a spectacular eagle at the par-five 18th.
The duo are two clear of Korean Jin Jeong (65) and a further stroke ahead of Finland's Roope Kakko (67) who also made an eagle at the last.
South African George Coetzee (69) birdied five of his final six holes to keep alive his hopes and stands four back at 13-under, alongside Scotland's Alastair Forsyth (68).
But it is Aiken and Walters in pole position after 'moving day' with the former in sublime form as he produced a total of ten birdies.
Having birdied the first, a bogey at the par-three second represented the only blemish on his card, but he was soon back in the groove and picked up shots at the fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth.
Another five birdies followed on the back nine of the East Course at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC but, in truth, it could have been more as he threatened the flag on virtually every hole.
Third round leaderboard
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-17 T Aiken (SA)
-17 J Walters (SA)
-15 J Jeong (Kor)
-14 R Kakko (Fin)
-13 G Coetzee (SA)
-13 A Forsyth
Click here for collated scores
Walters made a scorching start to his round and was seven-under for the day through just 11 holes after rolling home a monster putt on the par-four 11th.
He would then rather go off the boil, though, and dropped back alongside Jeong following a bogey at the short 16th.
However, he responded in brilliant fashion by stroking a long-iron on to the 18th green and watched on as it caught a slope and sidled up to the hole, leaving him a matter of inches for a superb three.
Overnight leaders Edoardo Molinari and Craig Lee both endured disappointing days as they slid out of contention.
Molinari finds himself seven back after a dropping a couple of late shots and signing for a level-par 72, while Lee fared even worse as he returned a 74 that leaves him down in a tie for 18th.