Kevin Phelan fired a six under par 66 to lurk just two shots off the lead entering the final round of the Eye of Africa PGA Championship.
The Mount Juliet touring professional has his eye on his maiden win as a professional after a bogey free, six-birdie effort left him tied for second with Dean Burmester on 13 under par.
Jaco Van Zyl added a 66 to previous rounds of 68 and 67 to remain bogey free for 54 holes and lead by two from Phelan and Burmester at Eye Of Africa Signature Golf Estate.
“As the tournament has gone on, I’ve got to know the course and that has an effect on the scoring,” Phelan said.
“There were a couple of holes on the first day that were playing downwind and I hit the ball to close for a decent approach, and that got sorted out.
As for the leader, South African Van Zyl said: “It’s the first time I’ve ever gone 54 holes without a bogey.
“It’s just about keeping it in play, hitting a lot of greens and making the odd putt. Every day has just got better so hopefully tomorrow we can keep on improving.”
According to the Sunshine Tour:
While Van Zyl spent much of the day watching playing partner Burmester drive the ball prodigious distances and making two more birdies than he did, it was a level of consistency which professionals often only dream of that pushed him clear of his pursuers – and Burmester made three bogeys in between his eight birdies to hamstring his own run at the title.
Van Zyl has held the historic PGA Championship trophy aloft twice already, and he will prove a formidable obstacle for anyone to overcome.
“I’m not going to change anything,” he said. “Someone’s going to be making a move, so I’ve got to get off to a fast start, make a few early birdies and take it from there.”