Porteous poised for Zim Open glory

HARARE - Haydn Porteous is one step closer to adding his name to the exclusive list of Golden Pilsner Zimbabwe Open champions after a sizzling third round performance saw him blaze to a four shot lead on Saturday.

Porteous goes into the final round of the R1.8 million competition in prime position to win the championship after carding six birdies and an eagle to post a pulsating 64 at Royal Harare yesterday.

The former South African number one amateur, who turned professional four months ago, is seating pretty on a total of 17-under-par 199 following his opening scores of 69 and 66.

But despite being just 18 holes away from victory, Porteous has refused to get ahead of himself.

“Obviously with a good four shot cushion it makes the game a bit easier than what I was expecting,” Porteous told the Daily News yesterday.

“Obviously I’m gonna be just as nervous in the final round, even if I had a one shot cushion or even if I was trailing.”

The South Africa trio of overnight leader Jean Hugo, Le Roux Ferreira and Jacques Blaauw are in second place four shots behind, while 2010 Zimbabwe Open Champion Jbe' Kruger is in fifth place a further shot adrift.

Zimbabwe’s leading golfer Tongo Charamba finds himself eight shots off the pace, currently in joint 11th position.

The Chapman based golfer shot a commendable 69 yesterday to add to his opening 67 and second round 71.

But on nine-under-par 207, Charamba will have it all to do if he hopes to be cause any upsets in the final round.

Yet, Porteous is not counting any one out ahead of today’s final round.

“I have got some good players on my heels and I can’t get complacent,” he said.

“Being a rookie, I’m still trying to find my feet. I have made some good money on the first few tournaments and that has given me some confidence. This week everything has gone right.

“I can only take what I can get. I’m happy. I’m over the moon with my display of golf at this tournament. I can just hope for the same tomorrow. I’m just gonna stay with the same game plan.

“I might go for a more conservative approach on a couple of holes but apart from that I’m not gonna change much. You can hit it in the wrong places on this course.

“I can’t get too ahead of myself. There are still 18 holes to go. I just have to stay in the present. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow I will be smiling as much as I am today.”

Meanwhile Scott Vincent is Zimbabwe’s next highest placed local on one-under-par 215 whilst Ryan Cairns is on 59th position on two-over-par 218.

Ignatius Mketekete finds himself in all sorts of trouble on six-over-par 222.

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