Tommy Fleetwood fires third round 69 to lead Golf Champions event by one stroke
Englishman chased by France's Victor Dubuisson and Dutchman Joost Luiten
Brian Stuard also one shot ahead of chasing pack at PGA Tour's Sony Open in Hawaii
England’s Tommy Fleetwood leads the Golf Champions event in Durban, South Africa by one stroke after posting a three-under par round 69 on Saturday.
The 22-year-old, who sealed a maiden European Tour victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last August, finished his round with a birdie to edge ahead of France’s Victor Dubuisson (69) and Dutchman Joost Luiten who shot a round of 70.
“It’s a tough a course as it is but obviously when you’re not quite on your game it turns into a very, very difficult course,” Fleetwood said, EuropeanTour.com reported.
“I played four or five really good holes, but obviously the rest of it, I struggled … Three under around this golf course, when you’re not on your game is an absolutely brilliant score, and so I think it’s showing that I’m maturing as a golfer and I can actually score when I’m playing bad, which is one of the most important parts of being a professional golfer.”
Home favorites Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace are fourth and fifth respectively. Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, fired a one-under par 71 to finish on eight under par, while Grace is one shot further back after carding a 68.
England’ Paul Casey recorded the lowest score of the day – a seven-under 65 lifting him up into a five-way tie for 10th place on four-under par.
Meanwhile at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Brain Stuard completed a second successive round of 65 to lead by one from Australia’s Marc Leishman and Hideto Tanihara from Japan at the halfway stage.
Journeyman Stuard, 31, will have to fend off some stiff competition in the final two rounds at the Waialae Country Club if he is to secure his first PGA Tour victory.
“This was my first PGA TOUR event and I finished 25th,” Stuard said, PGATour.com reported.
“It’s kind of an old style golf course and for whatever reason, I enjoy playing those,” he added.
Compatriot Harris English is two shots back on eight under after firing his second round of 66, while Australia’s Adam Scott is one shot further back.
The reigning Masters champion finished 2013 in brilliant form capturing the Australian PGA Championship and Masters titles last November and is well placed for a weekend charge after a round of 66 took him into a six-way tie for fifth.
America’s Boo Weekley and Justin Leonard are in a group of six players one shot further back on six-under par.