Sterne, Fisher running away from field at Joburg Open

February 09, 2013

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- South African duo Richard Sterne and Trevor Fisher Jr. each shot a 4-under 68 to move five shots clear of the rest of the field at the Joburg Open on Saturday.

Both men birdied the final hole for a 19-under overall total of 196, with four players in third position at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington golf course.

Felipe Aguilar (68), Jaco van Zyl (67) and George Coetzee (70) were alongside two-time tournament winner Charl Schwartzel (68) for third on 14-under.

Sterne and Fisher exchanged the lead on several occasions before ending level to set up an intriguing final day.

"A bit of nerves set in there," Fisher said. "You try not to think about the lead, but it's there in front of you. I was a bit jumpy with the swing and wasn't waiting at the top, so I hit a few bad shots there.

"But I came back nicely with a few birdies. It's just a feeling, and you've got to try and feel comfortable out there as much as possible."

Sterne made the first advance of the day with birdies at Nos. 6 and 7, before Fisher went to the turn with three successive birdies.

The duel continued on the back nine when Fisher recorded consecutive bogeys and Sterne birdied the 11th, before Fisher drew level once again. Both players dropped shots at No. 15, before finishing with birdies on the par-five 18th.

Schwartzel moved up the pack with a bogey-free round that included birdies on Nos. 1, 8, 12 and 15.