Golf: Clarke shines; sun shines brightly on SA players

Henry

On Saturday night at Pebble Beach in California, the American Wyndham Clarke not only broke the course record of 60 strokes in the third round of the Pebble Beach Pro Am, but also shot forward to take the lead.

Clarke, who won the US Open last year, made four birdies and two eagles over the first nine holes to add 28 strokes to his scorecard. He followed it up with a birdie on the 18th hole after he failed with his eagle putt which would have given him a magical 59 strokes.

He nevertheless finished the round in 60 strokes (12 under par) and finished at 199 (-17) in the clubhouse.

The previous course record of 62 strokes was set by Tom Kite in 1983 and was matched by David Duval in 1997, Patrick Cantlay in 2021 and Matthias Schwab in 2022.

The young Swede Ludvig Aberg, who was joint leader after the second round, is one shot behind Clarke on 200 strokes (-16), followed by the Frenchman Matthieu Pavon on 201 (-15) and Thomas Detry of Belgium and Max Hubbard (America ) both at 202 (-14).

South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Erik van Rooyen both finished on 207 (-9).

* At the Royal Country Club in Bahrain, South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli takes the lead in the final round of the Bahrain Championship, which is part of the DP World Tour, on Sunday.

Frittelli completed Saturday’s third round in 69 strokes to finish at 204 (-12).

He is two strokes ahead of his compatriot Ockie Strydom (206, -10) followed by Jesper Svensson of Sweden on 207 (-9).

South Africa’s Zander Lombard is also firmly in the race at 209 (-7), with his compatriots Darren Fichardt (212, -4) and Jacques Kruyswijk (215, -1) also on the balance sheet.

* At the Zebula estate in Limpopo, the fourth and final round of the SDC open, which is part of the Sunshine Series, leads to a duel between South Africa’s Wilco Nienaber and Louis Albertse.

Nienaber scored 64 shots in the third round and Albertse followed it up with 65 shots to jointly take the lead on 197 shots.

They are on -19 one stroke ahead of Welshman Rhys Enoch (198, -19).

Enoch is followed by George Bloor and Chris Paisley (both from England), Angel Ayora from Spain and South Africa’s Jbé Kruger and Gerhard Pepler, who all finished on 201 strokes (-15).

Lyle Rowe (203, -13) took the lead in the clubhouse earlier on Saturday when he shot 63, while Nikhil Rama (205, -11) completed the second nine holes in 29 shots and shot 65.

Sources: Sunshine Series and The Golf Channel