Poland’s Adrian Meronk takes a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship which is poised to showcase some of the finest young talent on both the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour at Leopard Creek.
Meronk has already made history this week as the first Polish professional to ever lead a tournament on the European Tour. He now has the chance to add his first European Tour title to that achievement as he tees off in the final round on 14-under-par following a third round 71.
After a slow start that saw him bogey two of his opening four holes, Meronk found his form on the back nine and made three birdies in four holes from the turn to keep himself at the top of the leaderboard.
“It was a solid comeback at the end after a slow start. I didn’t really play badly, I just made those two bogeys out of nowhere. But I played well the rest of the round. I enjoyed the battle of the third round, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of the final round as well,” he said.
Meronk’s nearest challenger is South African Jayden Schaper, who made an eagle and two birdies in his final four holes for a 67.
In January Schaper was still an amateur when he challenged the professionals in the South African Open at Randpark Golf Club and went on to finish tied sixth. Almost a year later and he is also hunting his maiden professional title at Leopard Creek.
“If you’re nervous it means you’re near the top, and that’s a good thing. Growing up I’ve always kept myself in the moment and I’ve really enjoyed the pressure. So I’m going to go out and enjoy every moment and have the best time of my life out there,” he said.
Following him is fellow South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout on 11-under-par after a 68. Bezuidenhout is already a European Tour champion who this year made his debut in The Masters and finished tied 38th. He finished his third round with five birdies on the back nine after turning in one over par for the day.
“It was nice to finish with those five birdies. I just couldn’t find my rhythm early in the round and got off to a slow start. But the back nine I was hitting it better and got into a better rhythm and it was nice to see couple more putts go in as well,” he said.