BRAZILIAN Adilson da Silva shot a four-under-par 68 in the third round of the R1, 8 million Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open at Royal Harare Golf Club yesterday for a three stroke lead and a golden opportunity to win a long-overdue first major title in his adopted nation.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 43-year-old golfer, who was a member at Royal Harare Golf Club in the 90s made six birdies and just two bogeys to move to 14-under par 202 and overhaul second round leader Jbe’ Kruger.
Kruger never got going yesterday as he struggled for the first time in his title defence with a one-over par 73 which left him on 11-under-par and in a tie for second with Zimbabwe-born Dean Burmester, who is also still in the hunt after a level-par round of 72.
“I was happy I played well today,” said Da Silva. “There are just one or two putts I thought I should have made. The greens are faster than they look. Ja (sic) a couple of small mistakes two bogeys but at the end of the day I am happy.
“I feel like I’m playing well. I just have to play it straight and keep it play and give myself a chance,” he said.
Da Silva played most of his early golf at the picturesque course after arriving in the country as a teenager from Santa Cruz do Sul.
He said winning the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open would be special for him, especially with Andy Edmondson, the Zimbabwean tobacco farmer, who brought him to Zimbabwe on his bag during this tournament.
“Look, I haven’t played here for a couple of years but ja (sic) winning here will mean a lot to me. I spent a lot of time here when I was young. I also have Andy Edmondson here, he is caddying for me so it will mean a lot,” he said.
Tied on 10 under and still in with a chance were the South African duo of Jacques Blaauw and JC Ritchie, while Erik van Rooyen signed for a 67 and will head into the final round five shots adrift on nine-under-par 207.
Zimbabwean Ryan Cairns, who has been consistent throughout the tournament, is now on course for a commendable top 10 finish after another solid round of two-under-par 70 which left him in a tie for 15th position on three-under par 213.