Lawrence turns up the heat at scorching Joburg Open

It was the Thriston Lawrence show on Saturday with the 26-year-old’s game plan for a second Joburg Open victory in full swing.

Lawrence was cool as the shade of a Jacaranda tree on a scorching day, signing for a three-under-par 63 score on day 3 of the tournament held at the Houghton Golf Club, in northern Johannesburg.  Lawrence won the tournament in 2021.

“I had a gameplan, and that was to try and play the exact same golf I did the first two days and I executed it. I stayed nice and patient.

“I could’ve probably gone lower than three under and there were a couple more putts I could’ve made, but it’s Saturday and the final group so it’s not always going to go your way. But it was still a job well done,” said the lad from Mbombela in Mpumalanga.  

Dean Burmester was doing his best to challenge Lawrence for the lead with a two-under 68 score on Saturday. Jacques Kruyswijk and Nikhil Rama recorded a 11 under par when the sun set on the eve of the deciding round. Kruyswijk signed for 69 and Rama 72 on the day.

Lawrence, who was paired with 22-year-old Nikhil Rama – both tournament favourites – had the crowd split in loyalty. 

Thriston Lawrence signed off a three-under-par 63 score on day 3 of the tournament held at the Houghton Golf Club./Phumla Mkize

While Lawrence is on the prowl for a double Joburg Open victory, Rama is eyeing his maiden tour triumph.

The last three holes, where the top four golfers on day 3 could have collected extra points, were scenes of misfortune.

After hitting a stunner that landed about 3m away from the hole, Kruyswijk missed his putt for a birdie.

He was not the only one whose heart was broken on the last three holes by a shy ball or one that refused to listen to the gentle whisper of man desperate to score an extra point.

After a hitting an accurate tee shot with a view to the flag and a second that landed in a sweet spot on the green, Lawrence missed his putt for a birdie by a sigh. But all is well that ends well as Lawrence ended the day with a confident-boosting three-under par 67.

Who will emerge the King of Joburg? We will know in a matter of hours. The final day of the Joburg Open kicks off at 6.25am with England’s John Gough and South Africa’s Kyle Barker on the tee box.

Rama and Kruyswijk will tee off at 11h46, and Burmester and Lawrence at 11h55.

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