Ernie Els will start the final round of the Fiji International three back of solo leader Gaganjeet Bhullar after a moving day 69 at Natadola Bay.
On a tough day for scoring, Els showed every ounce of his class as he finished strong to give himself a chance of his first win since topping Thomas Bjorn at the BMW International Open in June 2013.
The four-time Major champion was one of just five players to finish on -3 on Saturday as tough conditions brought the leaders back into the field. Without a win to his name, Bhullar matched Els to grab the overnight lead.
Els turned in level par but came back in 33 with gains on the 11th, 17th and last as he reaped the benefits of low expectations and casual settings.
‘It’s been a while so it’s very nice,’ he said.
‘We’re having a good week, myself, my daughter, my wife – we’re enjoying Fiji. The locals have been wonderful, everyone’s been great, so it’s nice to play a tournament and actually have a sniff at it tomorrow.’
A birdie at the 17th helped Justin Harding finish his round level for the day as he starts the final round in the bunch at -3 and sharing 11th place. The in-form South African, off to the PGA Championship next week, is five back of Bhullar with 18 to play.
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