Sergio Garcia continued his remarkable recent run of form as he opened up a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.
The Spaniard’s play in the early part of 2018 was so poor that some saw him as a risky selection for a Ryder Cup wild card but he has not looked back since being selected by Europe captain Thomas Bjorn.
He finished in the top 10 at the Portugal Masters, won three points in the victory at Le Golf National to become the competition’s all-time highest points scorer and then successfully defended his title at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters.
The 2013 Masters champion led after days one and two in Sun City and a third-round 71 moved him to 10 under, two shots clear of fellow major winner Louis Oosthuizen.
Lee Westwood was then at seven-under alongside Belgian Thomas Detry and Finn Mikko Korhonen, with Ross Fisher a further shot back.
Shane Lowry is tied for 11th place after shooting a third-round 74. Rory McIlroy shot a 73 today to remain on one-over. Padraig Harrington and Paul Dunne are on four-over and five-over respectively.
“It’s going to be tough, there’s no doubt about that,” Garcia told europeantour.com. “But it’s great to come with some good momentum, playing nicely and in the lead. It should be a fun day.
Garcia – a winner at this event in 2001 and 2003 – birdied the par-five second and hit a stunning approach into the third for back-to-back birdies and a three-shot lead.
He got in tree trouble on the 13th but birdied the 17th after another excellent approach before sending his second into the stands for a closing bogey.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, made two birdies and two bogeys to lead the home charge after a 72 while Westwood – winner here in 2010 and 2011 – signed for a 69.
Fisher dropped eight shots in his last four holes on Friday but recovered admirably with a third-round 67.