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Schietekat retains lead in Gauteng Championship presented by Betway

20th March 2021

Schietekat retains lead in Gauteng Championship presented by Betway

Neil Schietekat birdied the last to maintain his one-stroke lead in the Gauteng Championship presented by Betway at the Ebotse Links on Saturday.

On a day when a good breeze made the Ebotse Links play more true to its name, Schietekat signed for a 69 to stay top of the leaderboard and go into the final round on 16 under par.

Moments earlier, Jbe’ Kruger had set the clubhouse target at 15 under par with a 67 that was a massive boost in confidence for a man who has spent the past few years trying to regain the form, and swing, that carried him to six titles and a one-time place within the top 110 on the world rankings.

For Schietekat, Saturday’s third round was a true test of confidence in the changes he’s made to his swing, especially when two soft bogeys crept in during the middle of the round.

“I was grinding a bit there in the middle of the round. You know, following up a 62 from the second round is tough, and the wind didn’t make it any easier. This course is designed for a bit of wind. But it still feels like I’m playing pretty good and everything is coming out the way I expected it. I’m proud that I was able to pull myself together and get a decent score in on a difficult day.”

Behind him, Kruger also took a lot of confidence from his 67. Kruger has been working hard to rediscover his form, which includes undoing some swing changes that have been detrimental to his game.

“I’m just taking it one shot at a time out there. I can’t even say I’m taking it one day at a time. It’s just one shot at a time in the process to get my swing back. Today I made a few putts which was rewarding. And I like a course where the wind blows and conditions are tough. It’s rewarding to see the results, even if they’re still very small at this stage in my process to get my natural swing back.”

MJ Viljoen heads into the final round in third place on 14 under par following a 67. The leaderboard is still very tightly bunched, with only four shots separating the top 10 players. –  Michael Vlismas

Photo: Tyrone Winfield/Sunshine Tour

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