• Alfred Dunhill Championship

Flawless Schwartzel steals lead, Finch lurking

ESPN staff
November 30, 2013
All smiles between Schwartzel and caddie Glen Murray after a flawless 67 © Getty Images

Charl Schwartzel's took a step closer to retaining the Alfred Dunhill Championship and will head into the final round two shots clear after carding a flawless 67 on Saturday.

The 2011 Masters champion, who won this event by a European Tour record 12 strokes last year, rolled home birdies at two, eight and nine to move clear of the chasing pack before the turn.

He added further birdies at 12 and 13 to reach 13-under through 58 holes.

"It's one of those courses where I'm comfortable with all of the right lines," Schwartzel, who has not dropped a shot since a double-bogey at the tenth hole of his opening round, told the European Tour website.

"A lot of golf courses you need to hit it on lines that you feel awkward with, but this course is mostly right in front of you. And I think it helps that I've had good success here too.

"If I had really putted well today it could have been very low. The good thing is that I know it's there. It very easily could have been low, but it was still a solid round of golf and this is still a tough golf course.

"I felt a lot more comfortable and consequently I was hitting a lot more positive shots. I felt a little more in control than the last few days.

"Sometimes those things are unexplainable. It's just human nature and you go through those waves. I hope a good round like this picks me up and I go out tomorrow and have the same."

Englishman Richard Finch overcame Friday's disappointment to also record a 67 and move into second-place at 11-under.

Finch, who dropped four shots in the final three holes of the second round to blow a three-shot lead, carded birdies at the first, sixth, 10th, 11th and 18th.

But Finch, whose only European Tour victories came at the 2007 New Zealand Open and the Irish Open a year later, isn't holding out too much hope of a Schwartzel slipping up.

"If he goes out and shoots a 65, it's done and dusted," Finch said. "He's one of the best players in the world."

Frenchman Victor Rui is in third place at 10-under having also signed for a 67.

Ross Fisher failed to capitalise on his second-round 65, shooting a level-par 72 to remain at 7-under and fall into a tie for sixth place, while first- and second-round leader Morten Orum Madsen slumped to 7-over 79 with a round that included seven bogeys, a double-bogey and two birdies.

Alfred Dunhill Championship leaderboard

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