Van Tonder races into contention in BMW International Open

Jun 26, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

He had an early start on Saturday, and Daniel van Tonder took advantage of flying beneath the radar as he raced to a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 in the third round of the European Tour’s BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried in Munich, Germany.

He started the round in 42nd place on three-under-par for the tournament, and, when the dust had settled, he was on 10-under in a share of sixth heading into the final round, with only the leader, Viktor Hovland of Norway, going lower than him on the day with a superb bogey-free 64. Hovland was on 17-under after 54 holes, three ahead of the Spaniard Jorge Campillo and another shot ahead of Darren Fichardt in third.

Van Tonder started with a birdie on the first hole, but the opening nine was relatively quiet for the next four holes until he picked up two birdies in succession on six and seven to reach the turn in 33. He punctuated the entire homeward nine with birdies – on the 11th, 13th, 16th and 18th – as he played himself into contention.

Fichardt also carded a seven-under 65, and he too was bogey-free with an eagle and five birdies on his card. He picked up his eagle on the par-four fourth, and made birdies on eight, nine, 11, 16 and 18 as set himself up for a tilt at a sixth European Tour title.

Hovland, however, will be difficult to reel in. The world number 14 has made 20 birdies and an eagle on a course that can punish wayward play. With a three-stroke lead and a mature head on his shoulders from two PGA Tour wins before he turned 23, he makes a formidable front-runner.

Matching Van Tonder’s 54-hole total of 10-under were Justin Harding and Shaun Norris after rounds of 68 and 70 respectively. Justin Walters signed for a 69 to be at nine-under in a share of 11th, while Louis Oosthuizen went one-under in the third round to go to eight-under in 16th.

Zander Lombard fired a five-under 67 to climb 34 spots on the leaderboard, reaching 23rd on seven under, and Jacques Kruyswijk carded a three-under 69 to be at six-under in 32nd. Dean Burmester had a 70 to be four-under in 48th, with JC Ritchie joining him there after he battled to a two-over 74. Louis de Jager was on three-under in 60th after a one-over 73.

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