Neil Schietekat went bogey-free on Saturday to card a five-under-par 67 and move into a three-way share of the lead after the third round of the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.
That moved him to 11-under through 54 holes ahead of the final round, and he joined the 36-hole leader Jacques Blaauw, who had a double-bogey five in his two-under 70, and the Spaniard Santiago Tarrio, who, like Schietekat, had a third-round 67. The three had a two-stroke edge over Spain’s Emilio Cuarterto Blanco, the Swede Mikael Lindberg and Daniel Hillier of New Zealand.
“Always good to keep drops off the card,” said Schietekat. “The conditions were really good today. There was a little bit of wind for me on the front nine, but it died away for most of the back nine. I’ve been hitting the ball really nicely, and I’m especially happy with my short game right now. I’m in a good position right now.
Schietekat has been on something of a roll recently, with five top-10s in his last five tournaments, including a two third-place finishes at the Gauteng Championship and the Serengeti Pro-Am Invitational. He finished in a share of ninth in last week’s Limpopo Championship. This round will give him belief that the good form can turn into a victory on Sunday.
“I don’t like to think like that,” he said. “Obviously, if I keep doing what I’m doing, then I have to believe a win will come. But it’s no good trying to force things. I have a number in mind – 16-under – that I believe is good enough to win the tournament, and it feels as if I’m on track for that right now.”
It was a good putting display on the front nine, as Schietekat turned in three-under 33. He had five one-putts on that nine, even with missing two greens in regulation. “I’ve putted well the whole tournament actually,” he said. “On my front nine in the first round, when I started on the 10th, the putting was particularly good, and it felt pretty much the same today.”
For Blaauw, it was a case of one poor shot spoiling what could have been a round which saw him go into the final day at least two ahead. He pushed his tee shot on the short par-three 15th right into the water, and ended up making a double-bogey there. It ended up being the only blemish on his scorecard.
Tarrio had an eagle-three on the 11th on his card, but that only made up for the two bogeys he made on the outward nine, on the first and the sixth.
There are two other South Africans inside the top 10: Good friends JC Ritchie and Jaco Prinsloo are on eight-under with four other players, and very much within striking distance of victory.