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7th October 2023

Williams hunting Fortress Invitational glory

JOHANNESBURG – If Robin Williams was apprehensive about going into the weekend sharing the lead in just his 16th Sunshine Tour event then he certainly did not show it as he fired a superb 68 to stretch his lead to four shots after the third round of the Fortress Invitational at the Glendower Golf Club on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Williams collected six birdies and dropped just two shots on a blistering day in eastern Johannesburg, moving to 15-under-par as he goes into Sunday’s final round four strokes clear of Michael Hollick (70) on 11-under.

Williams started his third round in solid fashion with a couple of pars and then grabbed his first birdie on the par-four third hole, followed by another on the par-three fifth. The UK-based golfer did drop a shot, however, on the next par-three, the eighth, but it proved nothing to worry about as Williams immediately birdied the ninth and 10th holes.

His ability to bounce back from mistakes was shown again as he bogeyed the par-five 11th but notched a two at the par-three 12th. And the next par-five, the penultimate hole on the 6894-metre course, Williams birdied to further stretch his lead.

Heinrich Bruiners shared the lead with Williams after the second round and he seemed to be building a strong position for himself on Saturday when he followed six straight pars with birdies at the seventh and eighth holes.

But it then all rather unravelled for Bruiners as he bogeyed the par-four ninth and the par-five 11th, followed by a triple-bogey at the par-three 12th. The 36-year-old came home in 40 to post a 75, which pushed him down the leaderboard, on eight-under-par and in sixth place.

Danie van Niekerk followed up his brilliant 64 in the second round with a solid 70 on Saturday, and he is alone in third place, five shots behind Williams on 10-under-par.

Nikhil Rama and Estiaan Conradie both shot par-72s in the third round and share fourth place on nine-under-par.