Schwartzel leads in Dunhill defense effort

Charl Schwartel during the third round of the European Tour's 2013 Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Charl Schwartzel is chasing his second straight Alfred Dunhill Championship – and in a solid spot to do so, leading by two shots after a third-round 67.

Schwartzel carded five birdies during a bogey-free round at Leopard Creek in Maleane, South Africa, to pull ahead of Richard Finch at 11 under and Victor Riu at 10 under.

It's been 44 holes, in fact, since Schwartzel's last bogey.

"If I keep playing the way I am there is no reason to make any," Schwartzel told the European Tour. "If you keep thinking well around the course and executing the shots you should just keep making birdies.

"It's one of those courses where on all the right lines I feel comfortable, it's mostly right in front of you and it helps that I've had good success."

Schwartzel got hot through the middle of his third round, birdieing Nos. 6, 9, 12 and 13.

"If I had really putted well today it could have been very low," Schwartzel told the Associated Press. "The good thing is that I know it's there. It very easily could have been low but it was still a solid round of golf and this is still a tough golf course."

Romain Wattel is fourth at 9 under, with Soren Hansen fifth at 8 under. Second-round co-leader Morten Orum Madsen shot 79 to slide down the leaderboard.

Finch matched Schwartzel's bogey-free 67 on Saturday. He's looking to regain status on the tour after losing his card during a difficult 2013 season and failing to regain it at Q-School. But even his eyes are on Schwartzel, to some extent.

“If he goes out and shoots a 65, it’s done and dusted,” said Finch. “He’s one of the best players in the world.”

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