Cormac Sharvin produced his best score of the week – a four-under par round of 68 – to move into a share of 21st ahead of the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
The Ardglass professional, who missed the cut last week at the Joburg Open, carded seven birdies in total to move to four-under par for the tournament, 10 shots back of the lead. The 28-year old raced out of the blocks on Saturday at Leopard Creek, firing four birdies in his first five holes to make the turn in 31. Three more gains followed on his inward half, all cancelled out by bogeys, but Sharvin will target another big round on Sunday and only trails a top-10 place by three strokes with a round to go in Malelane.
Meanwhile Poland’s Adrian Meronk will take a one-stroke lead into a final round that is poised to showcase some of the finest young talent on both the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour on Sunday.
Meronk has already made history this week as the first Polish professional to ever lead a tournament on the European Tour. He now has the chance to add his first European Tour title to that list as he tees off the final round on 14-under par following a third round of 71 on Saturday. After a slow start that saw him bogey two of his opening four holes, Meronk found his form on the back nine and made three birdies in four holes from the turn to keep himself at the top of the leaderboard.
“It was a solid comeback at the end after a slow start. I didn’t really play badly, I just made those two bogeys out of nowhere. But I played well the rest of the round. I enjoyed the battle of the third round, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of the final round as well,” he said.
Meronk’s nearest challenger is South African Jayden Schaper, who made an eagle and two birdies in his final four holes on Saturday for a 67. In January Schaper was still an amateur when he challenged the professionals in the South African Open at Randpark Golf Club and went on to finish tied sixth. Almost a year later and he is also hunting his maiden professional title at Leopard Creek.
“If you’re nervous it means you’re near the top, and that’s a good thing. Growing up I’ve always kept myself in the moment and I’ve really enjoyed the pressure. So I’m going to go out and enjoy every moment and have the best time of my life out there,” he said.
Following him is fellow South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout on 11 under par after a 68. Bezuidenhout is already a European Tour champion who this year made his debut in The Masters and finished tied 38th. He finished off his third round with five birdies on the back nine after turning in one over par for the day.
“It was nice to finish with those five birdies. I just couldn’t find my rhythm early in the round and got off to a slow start. But the back nine I was hitting it better and got into a better rhythm and it was nice to see couple more putts go in as well,” he said.