Coetsee leads as South Africans, English dominate

Coetsee leads as South Africans, English dominate

Wallie Coetsee doubled his Joburg Open lead to two strokes Saturday as a final-round showdown loomed between South African and English golfers.

Of the top 14 names on the leaderboard after the third round at overcast Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Club, eight are South African and the other six English.

South Africans have dominated the event, winning the last five editions and six of eight overall. No Englishman has won the Joburg Open.

Coetsee carded a two-under 70 over the 6345-metre/6940-yard east course for a 201 total in the co-sanctioned European Tour-Sunshine Tour championship.

Fellow South Africans Jacques Blaauw (67) and Tjaart van der Walt (71) and Englishmen David Howell (68) and Steve Webster (65) are on 203 and share second place.

Among nine golfers on 204 is defending champion George Coetzee, who fired a second consecutive 69 to finish three strokes adrift of the leader.

Coetsee, a native of Eastern Cape surfing paradise Jeffreys Bay, showed erratic third-round form, especially on the inward nine.

After a one birdie-one bogey outward half, he made another bogey, birdied three holes, bogeyed one and finished with a birdie. 

The South African is chasing his first European Tour victory after ending a 17-year Sunshine Tour title drought by winning last season in Zambia.

A seven-under 65 from Webster early in the day was the lowest third-round score and it gave him the clubhouse lead untll late in the day.

Without a top-10 finish for more than a year, Webster was a model of consistency as he picked up five outward-nine birdies, two more coming back, and did not drop a shot.

And his score could have been even lower.

"I missed three or four 12-foot putts, which was frustrating," he admitted. 

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