Consistent Kaymer rates as a twoball banker
STORY SO FAR
HENRIK STENSON has not won a tournament since May, 2009, but the Swedish ace has given himself a great opportunity to end his barren spell, forging a three-shot lead through 54 holes of the South African Open.
Stenson was a 14-1 chance at the start of the week, but is no bigger than 4-9 to convert his final-round advantage into victory.
Pre-tournament favourites Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel have almost certainly given themselves too much to do, from eight and ten shots behind respectively, but Stenson will have to deal with another well-fancied ante-post runner.
George Coetzee, a popular choice at 12-1, fired a course-record 63 at the Serengeti Estate to force himself into the final pairing. Only four players are double-digits under par and it is 66-1 bar the leading quartet. The leaders are due out on Sunday at 9.55am UK and Ireland time.
-16 Henrik Stenson
-13 George Coetzee, Magnus Carlsson
-10 Darren Fichardt
4-9 H Stenson, 7-2 G Coetzee, 7 M Carlsson, 33 D Fichardt, 66 bar
THE tournament switches to twoballs for the final round, now that the early-week weather delays have been overcome, and it would be a shock should the trophy winner not come from the final pairing of Henrik Stenson and George Coetzee.
Stenson has been working his way into top form over the last few months, registering a series of positive finishes, and he could be about to put the icing on the cake of his purple patch. His win drought will be on his mind, though, so he is far from a 4-9 good-thing.
Last week in the Network Classic on the US Tour, Stenson got to within one or two shots of the lead on several occasions before imploding, so his desperation to get back on the glory trail may be holding him back.
RPSPORT followers will be hoping for a return from their 12-1 Coetzee vouchers and the Pretorian powerhouse has every chance of delivering.
Coming from behind will probably suit gorgeous George as he has not yet got over the finishing line in front on the European Tour.
Coetzee’s natural game is ultra-aggressive and he should enjoy playing the role of Henrik-hunter in round four with the South African galleries cheering him on. The local man is bang in form and capable of birdie on any hole. Magnus Carlsson is a steady sort who does not have the same fireworks in him. Coetzee is by far the biggest hurdle Stenson has to overcome.
Martin Kaymer, who has dropped shots on only three holes this week,
looks a twoball banker against Sunshine Tour slugger Merrick Bremner, who capitulated late on Saturday.
Kaymer can be put in a double with Thomas Aiken, who has been churning out greens in regulation for fun this week. Aiken’s only serious blunder came on the 16th hole in round three, where he racked up an eight, but the rest of his tee-to-green golf has been rock-solid. Take the 2011 Spanish Open champion to outclass Matthew Carvell.
M Kaymer (4-7) & T Aiken (4-7)
2pts double Ladbrokes