European Tour: A Pair Of South Africans Lead Joburg Open

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports via USA TODAY Sports

The European Tour is playing in much better weather conditions than the PGA guys this week at The Joburg Open. A pair of South Africans have a share of the third round lead as play has moved to the East Course at The Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Course in Johannesburg South Africa for the finale’. 

Thomas Aiken fired a nice round on Saturday afternoon, carding a -9 under par 63 on the East Course. He made one bogey on the front side at the par 3 second hole. He made the turn at 33, and blistered the back nine with a -5 under 33 including a flourish at 17, and 18.

The 30 year-old Johannesburg resident is currently 127th in World Rankings, and 23rd in Race To Dubai standings. He has two career wins on the European Tour, and finished T5 a couple of weeks ago at the Qatar Masters.

The 30-year-old then finished with a birdie from six feet at the 17th and got up-and-down at the par five last for a tenth birdie of the day

Justin Walters made an eagle on the final hole to card his own -8 under 64 on Saturday. The 33 year-old from Johannesburg, who now lives in England, was bogey-free until the 16th hole. His eagle at 18 saved the day and got him a piece of the lead, and a date with Aiken for Sunday’s finale’.

Walters is ranked 207 in the world, is 146th in Race To Dubai points, and has never won a Tour event.

The 33-year-old rose to prominence at the end of last season when he finished second in Portugal courtesy of a 60 foot putt on the final hole that saw him break down in tears as he secured his European Tour card two weeks after losing his mother to cancer, and his fighting qualities were on display again as he responded to a bogey at the 16th, where he found the back bunker, with a second to two feet at the par five 18th for a tap-in eagle.

2012 Joburg Champion, Charl Schwartzel went one better than defending champion, Richard Sterne. The 2011 Masters champ made the 36-hole cut at -4 under par. He shot even par on Saturday and was unable to advance his position. He remains in a tie for 65th position.

Richard Sterne had a horrible tournament in Johannesburg, and missed the cut. He was at the even par cut line on Friday, but a double bogey six at the par five 12th hole on the West Course sent him home.

Source: EuropeanTour.com

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Topics: Charl Schwartzel, European Tour, Golf, Joburb Open, Thomas Aiken

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