He faltered only once on Saturday, but Justin Walters is still very much in the mix in the DP World Tour’s Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett after a third round of one-under-par 71 left him in a share of fourth place.
He saw too many putts slide by or end up fractionally short to be entirely satisfied with his round, but two birdies saw him reach the 18th tee bogey-free at two-under for the round, and, at that point, in a share of the lead. And then he dumped his tee shot into the water on the 18th and had to scramble his way to a bogey.
At about the same time, Dane Thorbjorn Olesen was turning on the magic with an eagle-birdie finish to the third round which took him to the top of the leaderboard at 11-under. That was a three -stroke lead over the English duo of Marcus Armitage and Hurly Long, with Walters one of five players in a share of fourth on seven-under heading into the final round.
Walters was a little less accurate off the tee than he would have liked in that third round, and that kind of situation has a knock-on effect in that, even if he reached greens in regulation, he often had birdie putts that were longer than are genuinely makeable.
But four strokes is not a large gap to have to make up, and should he start finding fairways off the tees in the final round, he will certainly be able to push for the win.
Daniel van Tonder put together a good third round of four-under 68 to move to five-under for the tournament and a share of 11th. Justin Harding was one stroke further back after a 69 in a share of 17th. Also on four-under for the tournament in 17th was JC Ritchie, who really had it going till a bogey-bogey finish saw him sign for a 69.
Oliver Bekker signed for a two-under 70 and was in a share of 30th on two-under after 54 holes. George Coetzee was also in 30th after a one-over 73, and Richard Sterne moved to one-under with his 71. Thirston Lawrence was on one-under in a share of 51st, Brandon Stone was on level-par after his 73, and Zander Lombard had a five-over to drop to 66th.