By NDINAWE SIMPELWE –
OCKIE Strydom and Riekus Nortje will have a final day showdown today after finishing the third round of the Mopani Zambia Open neck-to-neck on 14 under par 202 yesterday.
And amateur Gabriel Chibale says competing against professionals at the Nkana Golf Club has given him the needed exposure to improve his game.
Nortje who shot to the top of the leader board on Friday had a tough day yesterday finishing two under par 70 to see his lead closed up by Strydom who finished on four under par 68 as the South Africans shared the lead.
Strydom started brightly with five birdies on the front nine but two bogeys on the third and sixth holes dented his impressive start.
He went on to get two more birdies on the back nine as he kept pressure on Nortje.
Nortje on the other hand managed four birdies the whole round coupled with two bogeys.
However, Strydom and Nortje will not be the only ones with the chance to play for the title today as Oliver Bekker and Alex Handl are close four shots behind sharing third position.
Bekker cannot be written off as he could repeat what he did at the Zambia Sugar Open where he came from behind to bag the title.
Others who also have a good chance to challenge for the title are Jean Hugo and Titch Moore who are on nine under 207.
Zambia’s Madalitso Muthiya played par 72 yesterday to maintain his three under par 213 overall score.
Meanwhile Chibale the only amateur to have made the cut said he had enjoyed the pressure of rubbing shoulders with the big players adding that he will do his best in the final round to end the tournament with a good score.
He said he was happy to have made the cut because Mopani promised the amateurs that they would be taken for custom fitting if they made the cut.
“I will do my best going in the final round and I believe that I can turn the tables, this is golf. I would like to play well so that I can motivate my colleagues,” Chibale said.
The youngster finished the third round on one over par 73 to increase his overall tally to five over par 221.