Richie O’Donovan fired a third-round 69 to put himself in position to earn playing status at Sunshine Tour Qualifying School’s First Stage at State Mines Country Club just outside Johannesburg.
Opening rounds of 68 and 70 had the Lucan native in a tie for 15th at the midpoint, and he knew that he’d need another two good rounds to finish in the all-important top 20.
After pars at one and two, he’d open his birdie account on the par-5 third and added another at the par-3 eighth as he went bogey-free on the front nine and turned at -2 for the day.
He’d take care of the par-5 10th hole to get to -9 for the week but his first bogey of the day arrived at the tricky par-3 13th to drop back to two-under for the round.
He responded in ideal fashion with back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 – the latter one of just two birdies on an extremely difficult par-3 that even runaway leader Caylum Boon succumbed to a double-bogey on.
Disappointingly, he’d card a bogey-five at the last to drop back to -9 for the tournament, ending the day where he’d started, tied for 15th, one stroke clear of a five-way tie for 18th that is the provisional cutline with the top-20 and ties all advancing to the Final Stage at Heron Banks in a fortnight.
South African Caylum Boon continues to lead the way at an incredible -23 through 54-holes, his third-round, nine-under 63 the best score of the week so far – a round featuring eight birdies, two eagles, a bogey and the aforementioned double-bogey.
He leads Englishman David Wicks by four, and they’ve separated themselves from the field with local amateur Eugene DuPlessis five strokes further back in solo third at -14.
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