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Author: Omnisport

Schwartzel on course to defend Alfred Dunhill crown

Charl Schwartzel is on course to retain his Alfred Dunhill Championship crown after a third-round 67 in Malelane on Saturday. The South African moved to 13 under par with another flawless round – including birdies at two, eight, nine, 12 and 13 – at the Leopard Creek Country Club in his home country and is two shots clear of Richard Finch going into the final day of the tournament. Schwartzel has not dropped a shot in his last two rounds and is in prime position to defend the title he won by a European Tour record of 12 shots last year. The 2011 Masters champion attributed his fine form to feeling at home on the Malelane course, adding that he is planning on delivering more of the same on Sunday. “It&aposs one of those courses where I&aposm comfortable with all of the right lines,” Schwartzel said. “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&aposve had good success here too. “I felt a little more in control than the last few days … I hope a good round like this picks me up and I go out tomorrow and have the same.” Schwartzel went into the third round tied for the lead with Morten Orum Madsen at eight under, but the Dane endured a nightmare day, recording a seven-over par 79 to slip 12 shots off the summit. Finch is now the 29-year-old&aposs closest challenger after he matched Schwartzel&aposs 67, although the Englishman does not expect the leader to falter on the final day. “If he goes out and shoots a 65, it&aposs done and dusted,” he said. “He&aposs one of the best players in the world.” French pair Victor Riu and Romain Wattel sit third and fourth on the leaderboard at 10 and nine under following respective third rounds of 67 and 68, while Madsen&aposs compatriot Soren Hansen is eight under after a solid 71 on Saturday. The worst round of the day was Mark Williams&apos 87, with 10 of his 15 dropped shots occurring in consecutive holes from the 11th to the 14th.