Fisher & Sterne Still Neck & Neck in Joburg Open

Trevor Fisher Jr. and Richard Sterne held serve in the third round of the Joburg Open, both carding 4-under 68s to reach 19-under 196, five strokes ahead of the field in the European Tour, which is taking place at Kensington Golf Club in Johannesburg.

The two lead fellow South Africans Jaco Van Zyl, George Coetzee and Charl Schwartzel and Chile's Felipe Aguilar. American Peter Uihlein is in solo seventh at 202 following a 68.

Fisher, who on Tuesday was honored with the Sunshine Tour's 2012 Player of the Year and Writers' Player of the Year awards, got off to a fine start with four birdies on the front nine, then ran into trouble on the back with three bogeys and a like number of birdies. Sterne was a bit steadier, with five birdies and a bogey Friday.

"I wasn't playing my best shots out there, I was a bit jumpy on my swing and not feeling so good, but if you putt well, that's what matters," the 33-year-old Fisher said.

"It was pretty good going out there," noted Sterne, who won this event in 2008 and, after going head-to-head against eventual winner Stephen Gallacher, finished second in last week's Dubai Desert Classic. "It's quite draining for two weeks in a row, but I'd rather be here than in the middle of the pack. But the heart is pumping quite fast out there."

Former Masters' champion Schwartzel knows he has a tough task ahead of him, but looks forward to Sunday. "My game is not bad, but it can be a lot better. A bunch of putts didn't go in, so I hope that clicks tomorrow," he said.

"If I can go out and get to 20-something under, then I'll have a chance."

Five players sit at 12-under 203, and another four are at 11-under.

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