Combrinck Smit looked like he was running away with the lead on day three of the Eye of Africa PGA Championship before dangerous weather conditions forced the end of Saturday’s round.
Smit was already four-under through 11 holes, on a total of 15-under and three shots ahead of second-placed Martin Rohwer when play was stopped. In yet another exhibition of good form, Smit began his round steadily, making a par on his first two holes before sinking a birdie on the par-four third hole.
In what some would describe as a cautious approach to that front nine, Smit made three more pars after that birdie, but followed those up with back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth holes. Two more pars preceded the birdie he made on 11 before play was called.
Lurking closely behind him was Rohwer who has also shown some good form all week long at the Eye of Africa Signature Golf Estate. Despite an unsettling bogey on his first hole, Rohwer steadied himself and was able to make a pair of birdies on the fourth and sixth holes. At the turn, the 24-year old began his surge up the leaderboard with four consecutive birdies from the 10th through to the 13thholes to claim second spot.
Making moving day count was Chilean Matias Calderon who, along with Daniel van Tonder, stormed to the third spot on the leaderboard on 10-under for the time being. Justin Harding’s birdie-laden seven-under 65 catapulted him to a share of fifth with Jaco Ahlers who was among those who did not finish his third round on account of the thunderstorm.
Harding’s drop on the par-three fifth was his only bogey in a round that consisted of eight birdies. Veteran Keith Horne and Ulrich van den Berg both shot 67s to share eighth position with six other players, with half the field still out on the course.
Whether the rain delay will affect Smit’s momentum remains to be seen but, with a three-shot lead going into the final round, even he will have to admit that it is now all in his hands. The third round resumes tomorrow at 06H40.