JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Home town players Thomas Aiken and Justin Walters moved into a tie for the lead at 17 under at the Joburg Open on Saturday as overnight pace-setters Edoardo Molinari and David Horsey lost ground.
Aiken carded a 9-under 63 on the East Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington, while Walters shot an 8-under 64 to open a two-shot lead on the chasers.
The Johannesburg-born pair were clear of South Korea's Jin Jeong (66) on 15 under heading to the final round of the European Tour event. Finland's Roope Kakko is 14 under and another stroke back.
Aiken had five birdies on the front nine and five on the back, while Walters opened with five birdies on the front and finished with an eagle to draw level with Aiken after putting his second to within two feet on No. 18 and tapping in. Walters has never won on the European Tour.
"I've got one more round tomorrow and I'm so happy that I've put myself into a strong position," Walters said. "I'm super excited for tomorrow because it's what we play for."
South Africans have won five of the seven previous Joburg Opens.
Molinari and Horsey appeared to be the strongest challengers to that strong home record after leading on Friday, but both slipped up as the action moved to the longer, tougher East Course at Royal Joburg for the last two rounds.