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Joburg Open: Trevor Fisher and Richard Sterne battle it out for the title

Last Updated: 09/02/13 3:53pm

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Richard Sterne: Tied for the lead in Joburg Open

Richard Sterne: Tied for the lead in Joburg Open

Sky Bet

It looks like South African duo Trevor Fisher Jr and Richard Sterne will battle it out for the Johannesburg Open title after they moved five shots clear of the field after the third round.

Playing together on day three, the two went toe-to-toe as overnight leaders and they both carded four-under rounds of 68 on the East Course to finish the day locked together on 19-under for the tournament.

That gave the pair a five-shot advantage over a group of four sitting on 14-under containing former Masters champion Charles Schwartzel after he shot 68.

Third round

(SA unless stated)
-19 T Fisher
-19 R Sterne
-14 G Coetzee
-14 C Schwarzel
-14 J van Zyl
-14 F Aguilar (Chl)
-13 P Uihlein (US)

Click here for collated scores

Chile's Felipe Aguilar matched Schwartzel's round and total while George Coetzee could only manage a 70 to join them and Jaco van Zyl who shot 67 to join the four-way tie.

Both Fisher and Sterne had stated their intentions by scoring birdies on the opening hole of the day, before Sterne edged ahead with his second birdie on the sixth.

Fisher Jr responded though with three consecutive birdies on the seventh, eighth and ninth holes putting him one shot ahead of Sterne, who could only pick up one shot on the seventh.

An eventful back nine for Fisher saw him card back-to-back bogeys after the turn to see him slip two off the pace as Sterne managed to birdie 11.

While Sterne was solid with just one more birdie and one bogey, Fisher responded to two bogeys with two consecutive birdies before yet another bogey to combine with just three pars on his back nine.

Both men birdied the 18th to ensure they will go out in the final group on Sunday in what looks a clear-cut head-to-head battle for the trophy, unless someone can produce something special from behind to pile on the pressure.

Garth Mulroy was the day's big early mover after shooting a seven-under round of 65 for a three-round total of 12-under, one shot behind American Peter Uihlein.

England's Tommy Fleetwood and Scotland's David Drysdale are also on 12-under as the top-lying players from Britain, with Tom Lewis just one shot further back on 11-under after a round of 67.

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