SUN CITY, South Africa (Reuters) - Saturday proved a good day for Germany at the Gary Player Country Club as Martin Kaymer seized a one-stroke lead in the Nedbank Golf Challenge and Bernhard Langer won the senior edition.
Double U.S. Masters champion Langer lifted the seniors trophy after defeating American Jay Haas by two strokes while Kaymer carded a two-under 70 to move one ahead of South African Louis Oosthuizen in the third and penultimate round of the main event.
“I am very happy for Bernhard that he could win this big tournament,” 2010 U.S. PGA champion Kaymer told reporters.
“It would obviously be nice to make it a double here but let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
Kaymer made a slow start in his bid to scoop the first prize of $1.25 million, failing to birdie the generous par-five second hole and following up with a poor bogey at the third.
Europe’s Ryder Cup hero then hit back in style with birdies at the ninth, 13th and 14th as he finished with a five-under tally of 211.
“I think a big putt for me was on the 12th - I sunk it from 10 feet downhill and right-to-left to save par and that gave me the motivation to keep playing well,” said Kaymer.
“I had a lot of lip-outs today so it could have been a little bit better but two-under is a very acceptable round.”
Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, fired a 69 while fellow South African Charl Schwartzel returned a 70 to take third place on 213.
Bill Haas (71), the son of Jay and winner of last year’s season-ending FedExCup series on the U.S. Tour, was tied for fourth on 214 with defending champion Lee Westwood (70).
Oosthuizen said the course was difficult and he did not anticipate a low score among the leading group in Sunday’s final round.
“The greens are a bit on the slow side and I don’t think many of the guys are making putts. I‘m definitely not making many putts,” he added.
“Tomorrow I can’t see anyone shooting a 66 or a 65 to win it - the course is just playing really tough. I just need to stay patient and give myself a shot at it with four or five holes to go.”
Overnight leader Paul Lawrie of Scotland slumped to a 75 and was down in sixth position on 215.
Editing by Tony Jimenez