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Otto keeps title bid alive in Cape Town

CAPE TOWN (29 November 2014) – Several players tried to make a hard charge at the lead on moving day at the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open, but as the sun set at Royal Cape Golf Club, Hennie Otto maintained his grip on the R1.5-million event to keep his bid for the final spot into the 2014 Nedbank Golf Challenge alive.

Although the overnight leader struggled with his swing on a very blustery day at Royal Cape Golf Club, the gritty three-time European Tour winner scrambled brilliantly for a one under 71 and a share of the 54-hole lead with Danie van Tonder on 12-under-par 204.

Otto carried a two shot lead into the third round over Tonder, Titch Moore and Thomas Aiken.

The 38-year-old Anahita golfer kept control with three pars and a birdie at the par-four second, but squandered his advantage with back-to-back bogeys at the fifth and sixth.

Moore fell away after a double bogey six at the par-four sixth, Van Tonder traded two bogeys for birdies to stay at nine under, but the stumble on the front nine opened the door for Aiken.

The three-time European Tour winner bogeyed the first, but recovered with birdies at the third and seventh to join Otto at 10 under through seven holes.

Otto’s challengers upped the ante on the back nine.

Van Tonder closed the gap with birdies at the 11th, 14th and 17th to sign for a three under 69 and set the target at 12 under 204.

Back-to-back bogeys at the 14th and 15th sent Aiken back to nine under, but the three-time European Tour winner rallied with a birdie at the 16th and closed with a 71.

Meanwhile IGT Tour graduate Rhys West joined the chase.

The Sunshine Tour rookie racked up successive birdies at the 15th and 16th and parred the 18th for a 70 and a share of third with Aiken on 10 under.

Otto was consistency personified with seven straight pars from the eighth hole as the South-easterly wind picked up speed.

He responded to the challenge with a brace of birdies at the 15th and 16th, however, a poor tee shot into the trees at the 17th derailed his effort to finish the day in front.

Although deep in the trees, Otto had a line to the green and hit a low five-iron to get back on the fairway, but the ball burrowed in the thick rough.

He had to punch out from the sticky stuff and this time, Otto caught the front edge of the green. His chip shot rolled seven feet past the cup, but Otto made the pressure putt for bogey.

At the 18th, he left himself a tough approach over the bunker at the 18th and was forced to play for the open side of the green. He lagged the first putt close and tapped in for par.

Having survived the bumpy ride, Otto intends to come out guns blazing on Sunday.

“If the wind starts blowing on this golf course then it comes down to patience,” said Otto.

“I tried to stay focused and continue repeating my good processes, because I knew there were a few birdies coming home.

“I know what I want to do tomorrow, but it would have been nice to have two more shots to work with. But it’s a new day when you wake up and you’ve just got to get out there and try to play your best golf.”

Meanwhile Moore rallied with two birdies in the last three holes to get back to nine under and will tee off in the company of David Drysdale, after the Scotsman fired a 68.

George Coetzee took advantage of an early tee time to sign for a flawless 66 and leads the bus at eight under 208.

SCORES (RSA unless otherwise specified):

204 – Danie van Tonder 67 68 69, Hennie Otto 66 67 71

206 – Rhys West 71 65 70, Thomas Aiken 69 66 71

207 – David Drysdale (SCO) 70 69 68, Titch Moore 67 68 72

208 – George Coetzee 70 72 66, Ross McGowan (ENG) 69 71 68, Jaco Ahlers 71 69 68, Jacques Blaauw 72 68 68, Justin Walters 71 67 70

209 – Haydn Porteous 72 70 67, Vaughn Groenewald 71 69 69, Shaun Norris 76 64 69, Andrew Curlewis 69 71 69, Justin Harding 71 68 70, Jake Redman 69 67 73, Chris Swanepoel 68 68 73

210 – Doug McGuigan 70 72 68, Tjaart van der Walt 71 70 69, Jacques Kruyswijk 75 66 69, Branden Grace 75 64 71, Adrian Ford 67 72 71, Jack Harrison (ENG) 69 70 71, Rhys Enoch (WAL) 68 71 71, Ryan Tipping 68 70 72

211 – Ulrich van den Berg 73 71 67, Steven Ferreira 70 73 68, Jared Harvey 71 72 68, David Frost 71 71 69, Dean Burmester 71 69 71, Omar Sandys 67 73 71, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 69 71 71, Merrick Bremner 71 68 72, Jean Hugo 71 68 72

212 – Alex Haindl 73 71 68, Stuart Smith (BOT) 70 72 70, Peter Karmis 70 72 70, Tyrone Ferreira 72 70 70, Jbe’ Kruger 72 70 70, Christiaan Basson 72 69 71, Brandon Stone 67 71 74

213 – Mark Williams (ZIM) 69 75 69, JJ Senekal 75 68 70, Morne Buys 74 69 70, Wallie Coetsee 70 69 74, Michael Hollick 67 70 76

214 – Andrew Georgiou 68 76 70, Drikus Bruyns 75 68 71, Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM) 75 68 71, Darren Fichardt 70 73 71, Desvonde Botes 73 69 72, Kevin Stone 71 71 72, Pieter Moolman 73 69 72, Derik Ferreira 69 73 72

216 – Dylan Frittelli 70 74 72, Jeff Inglis (ENG) 67 77 72, Shaun Smith 75 69 72, Lindani Ndwandwe 71 73 72, Wynand Dingle 71 72 73, Bryce Bibby 73 69 74, Lyle Rowe 66 73 77

217 – Le Roux Ferreira 72 72 73, Neil Schietekat 76 68 73, Desne van den Bergh 73 71 73, Derick Petersen 70 72 75, Paul de Beer 69 73 75

218 – Nic Henning 68 75 75

219 – Keenan Davidse 73 71 75, Darryn Lloyd 71 71 77

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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