Ferreira, Basson pile pressure on Ritchie

HARARE - Tyrone Ferreira and Christiaan Basson carded impressive rounds of 64 and 67 respectively yesterday to move within two shots of Old Mutual Zimbabwe Open defending champion and leader JC Ritchie.

Ferreira and Basson are now on 11-under 205 for the tournament while Ritchie is on 13-under 203 after 54 holes.

Ritchie had started the round with a four shot lead and it looked like he was going to run away with his second title.

However, the defending champion had a nightmare third round that was deflated by three bogeys on the last four holes.

After having carded consecutive 66s in the first two rounds, it looked like Ritchie had the trophy bagged while the rest of the field would have to fight for top 10 finishes.

However, the 25-year-old was not composed enough and in the end he signed off for a one-under 71 leaving the chasing pack with some hope going into today’s final round.

“I think the pressure is going to be on Ritchie; he is going to have a bunch of guys chasing him and he is the guy in the lead,” Basson said.

Basson had a terrific first nine picking up four birdies before the turn and followed it up with two more on the back nine.

The Cape Town-based golfer could have claimed second position all alone and move one shot behind Ritchie if he had not bogeyed number 15.

“I was really happy with today’s round; I was quite solid, I did not make too many mistakes and I’m quite pleased,” Basson said.

“Hopefully we will see what happens tomorrow (today); maybe we can put a bit of pressure on him (Ritchie).

“Maybe a couple of putts might drop and we will see what happens.

“I just hope I can stick to the game plan tomorrow (today).

‘It’s important to hit fairways; even if you play conservatively off the tee and you are in the fairway, you have a better chance of getting closer to the hole with your second.”

Ferreira also had a fantastic third round as he picked up three birdies on the front nine.

The 30-year-old picked another three birdies on the turn at 11, 12 and 14 to move to six-under for the round at that stage.

But it would even get better as he shot an eagle at the par five number 16 to move within touching distance of Ritchie.

The Zimbabwean contingent also had a spending third round with Ryan Cairns, Trainos Muradzikwa and Robson Chinoi all finishing on four-under 212.

Marc Cayeux and Mark Williams are a further shot behind on three-under 213 going into the third round.       

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