Strong back nine helps Homa take one-shot lead into final round at Sun City

Pavon’s third round effort moved him to 13 under and into pole position for his maiden DP World Tour win

By Teasm KT

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Max Homa, during his third round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge on the DP World Tour. - Supplied photo
Max Homa, during his third round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge on the DP World Tour. - Supplied photo

Published: Sun 12 Nov 2023, 1:16 PM

Max Homa came alive on the back nine to open a one-stroke lead at the $6 million Nedbank Golf Challenge with one round to play at Gary Player Country Club on the DP World Tour.

The World Number Eight shared the halfway advantage with Matthieu Pavon (Fr) but bettered the Frenchman’s third round effort by one as a three under par 69 moved him to 13 under and into pole position for his maiden DP World Tour win.

The six-time PGA TOUR winner cancelled out a bogey at the fourth – his first of the week – with a birdie at the fifth to make the turn at level par, before a moment of magic arrived at the par five tenth.

After finding the greenside bunker with his second, Homa hit a 56 degree wedge which released out towards the hole before finding the bottom of the cup to move the American back into contention.

A final birdie of the day arrived at the 14th before playing partner Pavon bogeyed the 15th and 16th to drop into second place at ‘Africa’s Major’.

Danish pair Nicolai Højgaard and Thorbjørn Olesen matched each other with rounds of 69 to share third place on 11 under, with Englishman Dan Bradbury a shot further back on ten under.

Defending champion Dubai resident Tommy Fleetwood posted a one under 71 to move into a tie for eighth place on seven under par and keep alive faint hopes of adding a historic third successive Nedbank Golf Challenge title.

Homa said post round: “I wasn't swinging it so well to start, I was a bit scrappy. I hit the ball really well coming down the last nine or ten holes, that was nice.

“I didn't hole anything putting wise but I made a nice bunker shot for eagle on ten which helped because I couldn't get the ball to go into the hole.

“I did a really good job of staying patient on the back nine. I hit it really well and had a lot of looks. That was my goal of how to play,” he added.

“It was one of those feeder bunker shots; if you land it short it's going to run, if you land it long it will spin. So I took a 56 and just played a low skidding one and it came off really good.

“It was one of the fun ones where 12 feet out you don't know how it could miss so those are the ones you like to have,” said Homa.

“|It would be tremendous. Every day we walk up nine and they have the plaques of everyone who's won and the names are stout so it would be amazing to add my name to the tradition here.’

“I woke up a little homesick today and we always say if I'm going to be away from the family I might as well play good so it's been nice to stay true to that.”

Dubai based Adrian Meronk (Pol), is in tied 10th place with rounds of 67, 75 and 68 for a 54 total of 210.

He leads the ‘Race to Third’ from Ryan Fox (NZ), who shot a third round 70 to be in tied 29th place.

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Leading Round Three Scores

(7,819 Yards, Par 72)

M. Homa (US) 66 68 69, 203.

M. Pavon (Fr) 68. 66. 70. 204.

N. Hojgaard (Den) 66. 70. 69. 205.

T. Oleson (Den) 70. 66. 69. 205


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