BENMORE, South Africa (February 9, 2017) -- The final round of the South African Stroke Play could very much be a two-man race. With the third round now in the books Ireland's Robin Dawson is 12 under and leading the way by a stroke over the 11 under Edgar Catherine of France.
Dawson took over the 54-hole lead on Thursday at Kingswood Golf Estate thanks to a 5-under 65. Two pars began the day for Dawson but he quickly found his grove with third and fourth hole birdies, the first of his six birds throughout the day. Dawson, the medalist at the 2015 Argentine Amateur, did slip up once with a 13th hole bogey but he quickly rebounded with birdies on each of the next three holes.
A win on Friday for Dawson, who has finished in the top 25 at the last two South African Stroke Play's, would be his first AmateurGolf.com Ranking event victory.
In the third round Edgar Catherine kept pace with Dawson by firing a 5-under 65 of his own. Even for the day through seven holes, Catherine began his run with a ninth hole birdie and then really kicked things into gear with four birdies between Nos. 13-17.
On Friday Catherine will be looking to improve upon his tied for eighth finish at the 2014 South African Stroke Play.
Sitting in a distant third place tie are a quartet of players at 7 under including; South African's Andre Nel and Brandon Cloete, Ireland's John Ross Galbraith and 36-hole leader Oliver Gillberg of Sweden.
ROUND THREE RECAP
At the midway point of the South African Stroke Play Oliver Gillberg is pacing the field by one shot. Gillberg moved to the top of the leaderboard at Kingswood Golf Estate with a 5-under 65 that pushed him to 8 under.
During the second round Gillberg poured in seven birdies and two bogeys. After starting on the 10th hole Gillberg finished his round with birdies on four of the last six holes, including tweeters on the final two holes.
A trio of players are in second place at 7 under; Robin Dawson, Brandon Cloete and John Ross Galbraith. Of the group Dawson had the best day, matching Gillberg's tournament best tally of 5-under 65. On the day Dawson of Ireland carded six birdies and one bogey.
First round co-leader Edgar Catherine is now in fifth place at 5 under.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Edgar Catherine, Liam Johnston and Phillip Swanepoel all opened with 4-under 66's to share the first round South African Stroke Play lead. However, the lead for the trio is a tenuous one with 41 players within four shots of the lead.
Edgar Catherine took his spot at the top of the leaderboard with a three birdie, one bogey and one eagle scorecard. Catherine jump started his round with an eagle on the par-5 third hole at Kingswood Golf Estate. The native of France will be looking to improve on his tied for eighth finish at the 2014 South African Stroke Play.
Scotland's Liam Johnston rolled to the top of the leaderboard with five birdies and a bogey. In 2016 Johnston's best AmateurGolf.com Ranking event finish was an eighth place showing at the St. Andrews Links Trophy.
The final member of the lead trio is South African Phillip Swanepoel. A reinstated amateur, Swanepoel, carded six birdies and two bogeys on Tuesday. Swanepoel, who finished tied for fifth at the 2008 South African Stroke Play, played his best golf from Nos. 1-8 when he tallied five birdies.
A half dozen players are sharing fourth place at 3 under.