JOHANNESBURG – Charl Schwartzel took a four-stroke lead at the Joburg Open on Saturday after shooting a 7-under 64 in the third round.
The South African played bogey-free golf for the second straight day, finishing at 18-under 195 to continue the consistent play he used to win last week’s Africa Open.
Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland was next after a 67 on the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington East course.
Schwartzel had two birdies on the front side of the 7,592-yard East course, and then waited out a weather delay before adding five more on the back nine.
“With two hours of waiting, I was sitting around thinking it would be nice to go round in four under for the back nine and get a couple ahead, and I managed to make it five,” he said.
It all began for him on 10, when he got up and down out of a bunker. He then hit a good 7-iron in to the 12th for a birdie on the 200-yard par-3.
“And then, all of a sudden, I started hitting a lot of good shots and converting the putts,” he said.
Clarke felt he could have played better.
“I had two putts out of nowhere go in from 20 feet, but I missed some short ones, which was very frustrating,” he said.
Sunshine Tour veteran Hendrik Buhrmann shot a 69 to take sole possession of third, one shot ahead of a group of five players at 11-under 202.
The $1.87 million tournament is the richest of four Sunshine Tour events co-sanctioned by the European Tour, and is the fourth event in the 2010 Race to Dubai.