South African Open: Louis Oosthuizen looks to win for second straight year

Louis Oosthuizen, the current holder of the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg title, leads ahead of the final day.

Louis Oosthuizen, who is looking to win back-to-back titles for the third time in his career (Africa Open 2011-2012, Volvo Golf Champions 2013-2014), carded a third round of 64 to make his move up the leaderboard at the South African Open.

He now sits at -15, and the World No.20 is a shot clear of the chasing pack, who will all be looking to hunt him down on Sunday at Randpark, but he had to get creative at times during his third round.

The closest man to the reigning Champion sits nearly 1,400 places lower than him in the Official World Golf Rankings. Marcus Armitage, the European Tour rookie, posted the best round of the day to make his move after a stuttering day on Friday.

The Englishman carded a nine-under-par round of 62, and had it not been for a bogey on the last, Armitage would have been tied for the lead going into the final round of the week.

Jaco Ahlers makes it two South Africans in the top three, sitting two shots behind his compatriot ahead of the final round, with 2015 winner Andy Sullivan a further shot back. The Englishman is joined at -12 but amateur Jayden Trey Schaper, Martin Rohwer, Jacques Blaauw and Branden Grace, a quartet of South Africans.

Min Woo Lee is the only player inside the top ten and ties that does not hail from either England or South Africa, with the Australian sitting four shots off the lead in a tie for 9th.

Overnight leader Tapio Pulkkanen is now five shots behind Oosthuizen after his third round  72. The Finn had three birdies and four bogeys in his one-over-par round, as he threw away his chance at a first European Tour title at the South African Open.

Johannes Veerman, the man who led after the first round, continues to drop down the leaderboard. For the second straight day, the American failed to shoot under-par, this time carding a 72 to fall to -8, and he now sits in a tie for 26th.

It was a bad day at the office for Sam Horsfield, as the Englishman fell out of the top ten and down into a tie for 38th, thanks to his third round 75.

Erik van Rooyen, Chris Paisley, and Antoine Rozner are all amongst the group at -5, while Thomas Detry and amateur Casey Jarvis are now at -3, twelve shots back, and in a tie for 66th place.

The final round gets underway at 06:30 (GMT+2), but the focus will be on the trio of Oosthuizen, Armitage, and Ahlers, who will be the final group. The trio will start at 11:00 (GMT+2), but can anyone stop the former British Open champion from lifting the South African Open crown once more?

Leaderboard:

  • 1 (-15): Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)
  • 2 (-14): Marcus Armitage (ENG)
  • 3 (-13): Jaco Ahlers (RSA)
  • T4 (-12): Andy Sullivan (ENG), Jayden Trey Schaper (A), Martin Rohwer, Jacques Blaauw, Branden Grace (all RSA)
Next: Sony Open: Round Two recap and what to look for over the weekend

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Selected Others:

  • T9 (-11): George Coetzee (RSA), Min Woo Lee (AUS)
  • T14 (-10): Tapio Pulkkanen (FIN), Marc Warren (SCO), Nino Bertasio (ITA)
  • T26 (-8): Johannes Veerman (USA), Trevor Fisher Jr. (RSA)
  • T32 (-7): Brett Rumford (AUS), Gavin Green (MAS)
  • T38 (-6): Sam Horsfield (ENG), Clement Sordet (FRA), Marcel Siem (GER)
  • T45 (-5): Erik van Rooyen (RSA), Chris Paisley (ENG), Antoine Rozner (FRA)