Zander Lombard will take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Lyoness Open after carding 68 on Saturday.
He reached the 54-hole mark on 11-under-par and just ahead of Chinaa’ Ashun Wu, who was ahead of third-placed Gregory Bourdy and Adrian Otaegui on nine-under.
Lombard showed true grit in overcoming a triple-bogey seven at the ninth, and went bogey-free on the stretch before signing for 68.
‘It was a bit of a brain burp at the ninth to be honest,’ he said. ‘It wasn’t that bad of a shot but there’s no margin for error off that tee, so I paid the price. At least I kept my cool around the turn and steadied the ship with a good par.’
The world number 296 made a total of seven birdies during the round to give himself a real chance going into the final round.
‘It’s always a great position to be in to really compete and I’m looking forward to it a lot, so I’m going to give it my best,’ he said.
It’s not his first time going for European glory. Last December at the Australian PGA Championship he led after three rounds, but was unable to convert the opportunity and had to accept sole fourth.
He’ll shoulder those memories going into Sunday at Diamond Country Club, but his current form will be a huge confidence booster.
The 21-year-old was second at the Joburg Open earlier in the year and is once again in position to contend for a European Tour title. Victory would mean two years’ exemption, so plenty is at stake.