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25th March 2023

Knappe leads into final round of Jonsson Workwear Open

JOHANNESBURG (Gauteng) – On a day of rain and delayed tee times, having no strategy proved to be the best strategy for Germany’s Alexander Knappe as he claimed the lead in the Jonsson Workwear Open headed into Sunday’s final round at The Club at Steyn City.

When the third round finally teed off at 11am, Knappe decided to just see where his golf takes him on a difficult day. The result was a solid 65 for a one-stroke lead on 17 under par.

“I had no strategy to be honest. I just played golf and waited to see how it ended up. No strategy,” he said. “It was great work. I made one bogey out there but I am only human so I can’t be too hard on myself. There was no roll on the fairways but you could go for every pin because it was so soft.”

Knappe has won before in South Africa in last year’s Dimension Data Pro-Am, which was co-sanctioned with the European Challenge Tour. But Sunday’s final round will be a new experience for him at DP World Tour level. “It’s my first time leading a big event. I’ll see how I prepare for that mentally. But I’m just enjoying that feeling right now.”

South Africa’s Hennie du Plessis, Swede Joakim Lagergren, Malaysia’s Gavin Green and Germany’s Nick Bachem are his nearest challengers on 16 under par.

Lagergren stormed through the field with an incredible 63 that was made even more remarkable by the fact that he never dropped a single shot in the wet conditions.

“I played really well today, especially my iron shots. It was a different course today and played longer because it was so wet. But I kept the bogeys off the card. It’s been a while since I’ve been bogey free,” he said.

South African Du Plessis also managed to go bogey free during his round of 65 and is delighted to be in contention going into the final round.

“When you’re in the mix it’s always a fun feeling. I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It was hard work today. With all the delays this morning I knew we’d have to be patient out there. It’s so wet so you had to hit fairways and quality iron shots. The pins were also tucked away a little bit.”

But this golf course does set up well for Du Plessis, and he’s looking to take even more advantage of that in the final round.

“I enjoy this layout. The wide fairways and slopey greens are nice to play. Standing up there and hitting a good drive is great, and then when you’re a good mid-iron player it’s a fun course to play.” – Michael Vlismas