Oliver Bekker kept himself in the hunt for the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Saturday as he held firm in tough conditions and overcame some untimely dropped shots to card a two-under-par 70 for the third round at Mont Choisy Le Golf.
He moved to 11-under-par through 54 holes in the tournament co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the DP World Tour. That was three shots behind the leader Antoine Rozner of France, and one behind another Frenchman, Julien Brun. Bekker was one clear of first-round leader Sami Välimäki of Finland and yet another Frenchman, Pierre Pineau who shared fourth.
“I played pretty solid,” said Bekker, who is looking to round out a year in which he had his first full season on the DP World Tour with what would be a maiden victory on the circuit. “I didn’t make too many mistakes and I’m feeling good about the final round. This is the kind of golf course where you can make quite a few birdies. If you can get off to a good start and put the guys under pressure you’re in with a good chance.
“We’ve seen 62s and 64s here this week so even if it’s windy you can still get a good score out there. It’s going to be nice to be a few back and be able to play a bit more aggressive, and see how it pans out.”
There were only two other South Africans inside the top 10 after the third round: Jayden Schaper was on nine-under in a share of sixth, and Dylan Mostert shared ninth on eight-under-par. Schaper was impressive in the windy conditions with his five-under-par being the joint low round of the day, while Mostert was also good with his four-under 68. Brandon Stone also had a five-under to move to six-under and a share of 13th.
Rozner was pleased with his day’s work considering the tricky conditions. He said: “It was tough out there. It was blowing a lot more than yesterday. It wasn’t easy at all. The long game was tough and the putting was even worse, I thought.
“I feel like I missed a lot of opportunities but I still shot four-under, so in those conditions it’s pretty good. That helps me for the confidence and hopefully I can use that for tomorrow.”