Thomas Detry and Rasmus Højgaard are tied at the top after a marathon Saturday at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
After lightning and torrential rain forced round two to be suspended with the leading groups barely started, play resumed at 7:45 and players had just a short recess before starting their third rounds with the same groupings.
Detry produced a blistering start and finish to his third round to sign for a five-under-par 67, taking the Belgian – who is chasing a maiden DP World Tour title – to nine under for the week, where he was joined by Dane Højgaard after his third successive 69.
Detry started his third round at the tenth and birdied his opening two holes before picking up another shot at the 14th. Two bogies and another gain followed in his next ten holes before he reeled off three birdies to finish.
Speaking after the round, the Belgian, who finished runner-up to Seamus Power in Bermuda a fortnight ago, felt that the flatstick was the difference today. “Putting (has been key). I struggled on the greens the first day and I’ve managed to find some great confidence and I’m seeing them roll in.
“My game has been in great form for the last couple of months and I feel like everything is clicking again. I’m working on the right things, doing the right things with my coach. Having a lot of rest as I’ve been travelling back and forth (from the US) so that’s the number one thing I’ve been doing is resting a lot. It’s been working, so hopefully we can keep it going.”
Three-time DP World Tour winner also made a quick start with a birdie at the second but after dropping shots at the fourth and eighth his round kicked into life at the ninth when he rolled in an eagle putt from 14 feet, adding two further birdies on the back nine to join Detry at the summit.
“Overall, my driving has been key,” Højgaard told the press afterwards, “had a few missed cues today, but I’ve been driving the ball well for three rounds. You need good driving to do well out here – there’s so much trouble on each side.”
South Africans Thriston Lawrence and Branden Grace are at eight under par, while European Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald and another home favourite in Christiaan Bezuidenhout are two shots further back.
Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood and DP World Rankings number two Ryan Fox – who needs a victory this week to overtake Rory McIlroy going into next week’s DP World Tour Final in Dubai – are then at six under par alongside India’s Shubhankar Sharma.
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