Stenson on course for overdue win

  • Last Updated: November 18 2012, 12:56 GMT

Henrik Stenson remains on course for the South African Open title at Serengeti - and sets up a Sunday which could see four European victories around the world.

Henrik Stenson: Leads the way in South Africa
Henrik Stenson: Leads the way in South Africa

The 36-year-old Swede, without a win for over three-and-a-half years, takes a three-stroke lead into the final round after responding to George Coetzee's course-record 63 with a 69 to reach 16 under par.

It came after Ian Poulter charged into the lead in Australia, Luke Donald went four clear in Japan and Miguel Angel Jimenez moved into a share of top spot at the Hong Kong Open.

South African Coetzee gave himself another chance of a first European Tour title with an eagle two and no fewer than nine birdies.

But the 26-year-old from Pretoria, who has had than 17 top-10 finishes on the circuit in the past three seasons, also had bogeys at the 12th and 15th.

Stenson, already three clear at halfway, had a hat-trick of birdies from the seventh and after a three-putt bogey at the 10th, hit back with a two for the third day running on the 183-yard 15th.

Driving into sand did cost him a six on the long 16th, but a superb chip from the rough at the 17th gave him a sixth birdie of the round.

His compatriot Magnus Carlsson birdied the last for a 68 that lifted him alongside Coetzee in second place, while Darren Fichardt - another of the home contingent - is in fourth spot three strokes further back.

Germany's former world number one Martin Kaymer moved into a share of sixth place with a 68, but still had eight shots to make up, while last year's Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was 10 behind after a scrappy 74 that included two early double bogeys and two closing bogeys.

Among those alongside him in 13th place was England's Tommy Fleetwood, for whom every shot looks crucial as he tries to climb from 124th on the Tour money list into the top 119 to keep his card.

Scot Lloyd Saltman had to win to earn his 2013 place, but a 75 dropped him from fourth to 20th.

Fellow countryman Craig Lee did even worse with a 77 to be in a tie for 38th, but at 116th on the Order of Merit he may have done enough already.


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