Joburg Open day 3: Sterne and Fisher Jnr open up 5-shot lead

On the eve of the final day of the 2013 Joburg Open, very little has changed after the first round of golf post-cut since yesterday.

English: South Africa (orthographic projection)

European Tour visits South Africa for the 2013 Joburg Open

Richard Sterne & Trevor Fisher Jnr have pulled a couple more shots clear and remain T1 after 54 holes of golf at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington in South Africa.

The two South Africans will take a five-shot lead over four other golfers currently T3 into the final day’s play in a few hours time.

Five out of the top six placed golfers after day three still represent South Africa, as was the case at the halfway point in this year’s Joburg Open, yesterday.

The only difference is that Jaco Van Zyl has exchanged places with Keith Horne; Van Zyl carded -5 for the day to join the three other golfers five off the pace on -14, whereas Horne shot a forgettable +1.

English: Felipe Aguilar during his participati...

Felipe Aguilar, Wikipedia, CC3.0 Sharealike

Aguilar only non-South African with shot at Joburg Open title

Chile’s Felipe Aguilar is still the only non-South African to be cutting it up with the home-grown golfers.  He remains the only genuine threat to prising the Joburg Open title out of South African hands.

It would be a brave fella indeed to back against either Sterne or Fisher Jnr failing to cross the line as champion, given their 5-shot advantage.

But Charl Schwartzel, amongst those T3 five shots back, will want to do whatever he can to win the Joburg Open for the third time in four years.  Branden Grace robbed him of a straight hat-trick last year; he’ll want to put that right, tomorrow.

I say ‘tomorrow’.  The final day tees off in less than five hours from now, with the lower half of the draw in this Race to Dubai event teeing off on the back nine at 6:30 local time (GMT +2).

The top half tee off same time on the front nine.  Oddly, unlike day three, the pairings for the final day will actually play in trios.

Van Zyl (-14/T3) joins leaders Sterne and Fisher Jnr (-19/T1) to tee off at 8:20am, making the final pairing an all-South African affair.

The other three T3 golfers, Schwartzel, Coetzee and Aguilar, set out ten minutes earlier.  For my money, Charl will be in the clubhouse praying for Sterne or Fisher Jnr to drop a shot at the last.

Can’t see it though; what about you?

  • Can anyone mount a challenge from five shots – or further – back?  
  • Or is it Richard Sterne vs Trevor Fisher Jnr all the way?
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