Haindl leads but chase is on
LUSAKA: Alex Haindl maintained his spot at the top of the leaderboard in the Zanaco Zambian Masters yesterday after he shot a third round 70 on moving day, which took his total to 11-under 205 for the tournament and a single shot away from the chasing pack.
Despite playing well at Lusaka Golf Club, Haindl found little joy in the way of birdies and only managed to make two on the front nine. They were, nevertheless, cancelled out by the shots he dropped on his very first hole and the par-three third.
His back nine was a lot better despite not making any birdies there because the eagle he made on the par-four 15th was just what he needed to bounce back after failing to make gains on the par-five 14th.
“I was a bit frustrated with myself for not making birdie at 14, so 15 really helped. They had the tee up so we could go for the green and I hit it on and made the putt for a two. So that was one good thing that happened today.”
He is happy with the way he has played in Zambia this week but reckons he has not scored as well as he has hit the ball.
“I guess I just have to be patient because somewhere along the lines the putts will drop.”
He goes into the final round aiming to strike a healthy balance between a full-on attack and a conservative approach but refuses to get ahead of himself.
“If you are hitting it well and making a few putts, you can go low here,” said Haindl, “but like I said earlier in the week, this course can also punish you. So there’s a balance between being over-aggressive and being over-conservative but its always possible. I’d love to win, we all would, but there are a lot of guys around the lead who have won big events so for me, I’m just going to go out and play as well as I can.”
Current Dimension Data Pro-Am champion, Jaco Ahlers, along with JJ Senekal and Stephen Ferreira are lurking dangerously behind him in a share of second spot on 206. So they are just one back.
Ahlers’ round three 69 means he has shot three consecutive rounds in the 60s in Zambia, a show of good form by any standards.“Three rounds in the 60s, and unfortunately not as low as I want but still in with a shot tomorrow and that’s all you would like to have on a Sunday,” Ahlers said.
“Tomorrow, I’m going for everything. We all want to win. Nobody wants to finish second. We all want to have trophies in the cabinet,” he said yesterday.
It was the trio of Keith Horne, Titch Moore and André De Decker, however, which made moving day count in Lusaka. They all signed for 67s but it was Horne who was the most clinical, shooting a flawless round to be in a share of eighth with the same duo plus Lyle Rowe whose round could have been much better had he not made a doublebogey on the 13th.
With heavy winds forecast for today the final round could prove a stern test. – Sunshine Tour