Bezuidenhout only just in touch in Olympics

As the potential medallists jostled for position on Saturday, Christiaan Bezuidenhout was only just in touch after a third round of three-under-par 68 saw him take up position in a share of 17th place in the Olympic golf competition at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan.

At seven-under-par for the tournament, he is seven shots behind the lead which is held by Xander Schauffele of the United States after he also carded a 68. Schauffele is one shot ahead of Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, with Great Britain’s Paul Casey and Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz in a share of third another shot back on 12-under.

Bezuidenhout has his work cut out for him, and he will need to keep the bogeys off his card if he is to climb on the leaderboard. He dropped two shots in his third round, on the second and ninth holes, and that was after he had made bogey on the 18th as he completed his second round early in the morning after that round was interrupted by dangerous weather.

He shares 17th with Open champion Collin Morikawa of the United States, who went four-under in the third round, as well as with Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent and South African-turned-Slovak Rory Sabbatini.

Up ahead, the big guns are firing: Schauffele fired his second 68, to go with his brilliant second-round 63 as he stayed at the top of the leaderboard. Matsuyama will have it all to play for in Sunday’s final round in his home country after he finished his second round with a 64 and followed that with a third-round 67. Casey and Ortiz have consistently been in contention and fired 66 and 69 respectively in the third round.

Lurking in a share of fifth on 11-under, just three shots off the lead, is Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. His teammate Shane Lowry is on 10-under, together with Great Britain’s Tommy Fleetwood.

Garrick Higgo carded a third-round one-under 70, but, at one-under for the tournament and in a share of 46th, he really doesn’t have a realistic medal shot anymore.

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