Sabbatini climbs into American Express contention

Rory Sabbatini bogeyed the 16th on Saturday, but his five-under-par 67 was enough to lift him to 12-under-par for the tournament and a share of eighth after the third round of the PGA Tour’s American Express Desert Classic in Palm Springs, California.

The South African born veteran – who is now a Slovakian citizen – made six birdies as he set about trying to chase down the lead heading into the final round. It was shared by Max Homa of the US, Si Woo Kim of South Korea and American Tony Finau, who were all on 15-under-par.

Sabbatini, the former Durban player, made four birdies on his opening nine, and one more on the 13th, but the drop on the par-five 16th where he failed to get out of a fairway bunker the first time after his tee shot. He made the green in four, but two-putted to leave him one stroke further back than he would have liked.

Charl Schwartzel carded his second successive level-par 72 after an opening five-under, but that left him back in a share of 52nd, and actually sliding down the leaderboard.

Erik van Rooyen started his third round on the 10th, and quickly got it to three-under with birdies on 10, 11 and 13, but a pair of doubles on the par-three 17th and the par-four 18th set him back. Another double on the par-three sixth and a bogey on the par-four 18th saw him sign for a four-over 76 and he slipped to a share of 66th.

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