PRETORIA, March 2 (Reuters) - A four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard has set up a thrilling final round of South Africa’s Tshwane Open.
South Africans Darren Fichardt, Charl Coetzee and Dawie van der Walt will start the fourth round level on 16-under-par with Chilean Mark Tullo after an extended Saturday that saw 53 players complete their second round in the early morning.
There was another rain interruption that kept the players off the Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate course at Centurion for two hours, before the final threesome completed their third rounds in fading light.
Fichardt birdied the last three holes for an eight-under-par 64 to take his share of the lead. It is the best round of the championship so far as the 37-year-old seeks back-to-back wins in South Africa following his victory in the Africa Open in East London a fortnight ago.
Tullo and Van der Walt both carded 67s as they take aim at a first ever European Tour victory.
Tullo has yet to drop a shot in the championship and carded another five birdies on Saturday, including on the last to gain a share of the lead.
Van der Walt is also yet to drop a shot and once again had a strong back nine to keep up with the leaders. Eleven of his 16 birdies have come on the way back to the clubhouse.
Coetzee is playing in his fifth event on tour and shot a 68, but two bogies on the back nine denied him the outright lead.
Having turned in 35, he had an eventful final nine holes that included five birdies to go with those two dropped shots.
One shot off the lead is South African Louis de Jager, who has now carded consecutive rounds of 65 after an opening day 71.
American Peter Uihlein goes into Sunday on 14-under-par, while one shot further back is Englishman David Howell.
Spanish veteran Jose Maria Olazabal carded two double-bogies on his was to a disappointing 74 that leaves him at two-over-par for the tournament and in tied-73rd place. (Reporting by Nick Said in Cape Town; Editing by Mark Meadows; firstname.lastname@example.org +27832722948 Messaging email@example.com)