Meyer takes charge

HARARE - Breyten Meyer equalled the Royal Harare Golf Club course record of 63 on his way to snatching a one-shot lead of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open after a thrilling third round yesterday.

Meyer began the round tied for 13th with a score of three-under-par 141 but a run of five consecutive birdies from 2 to 5 ensured he quickly climbed the leaderboard.

At the end of his front nine, the 23-year-old South African was seven-under-par 29 before going on to pick two more shots at 12 and 17 to take his gross score to 12-under-par 204.

The Western Cape-based will now go into the record books together with Zimbabwean legend Nick Price, who set the course record in 1998.

Italian Francesco Laporta also equalled the record when he shot a 63 during the third round of the Zimbabwe Open back in 2013.

“Today when I started off, I hit good shots and I made putts. On the back-nine there were a few nervy shots, but going bogey-free was really good. I knew I was able to post a good score. My golf has been good over the last year — I just haven’t been able to put it together — but I’ve been working harder than ever before,” he told the Sunshine Tour website.

“It’s interesting. I started the tournament with a triple-bogey. I put in a lot of work for this trip — for Zim and Zambia — and it’s a bummer starting with a triple, but I knew I just had to be patient because I’ve put in all the work.” 

Meyer, who turned pro last year, will now go into the final round searching for his first Sunshine Tour victory and a lion’s share of the R,8 million purse.

The stage is now set for a final thrilling round today as Meyer will finish the championship paired with second-placed Vaughn Groenewald, who carded a four-under-par 68.

Groenewald is now on 11-under-par 205 after sinking three birdies on the front nine before picking up a single on 14 during yesterday’s round.

Steve Surry from England also moved into contention for the top prize with a solid five-under-par 67 third round.

Surry is now just four shots behind Meyer on eight-under-par 208.

A further shot back is Hennie du Plessis of South Africa, who shot a 68 to take his total to seven-under-209.

At least six golfers are on six-under-par 210 namely Lyle Rowe, Mark Murless, Teaghan Gauche, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Merrick Bremner and Jonathan Agren going into today’s final round.

It was a completely difficult day to forget for overnight leader Louis De Jager, who signed off for a card of four-over-par 76.

De Jager began the day on nine-under-par 135 but missed a number of fairways on his way to end the day on five-under-par 211.

The Centurion-based golfer began the third round by bogeying at 2 but quickly recovered with an eagle at the next hole.

However, it was all downhill from there as he dropped three more shots to finish his first nine on two-over-par 38.

It was a similar story in the final nine for De Jager as three more bogeys and a birdie on 16 meant he was also two-over-par 38 at the end.

Zimbabweans Mark Williams and Scott Vincent, who began the day on five-under-par 139 had a terrible rounds.

Vincent shot a 77 to end the day on level-par 216 while Williams is a further shot back on one-over-par 217.

Kieran Vincent is now the highest placed Zimbabwean after firing a two-under 70 to take his total to one-under-par 215.

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