JOHANNESBURG – Charl Schwartzel shot a 3-under 69 Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the South African Open, the season-opening event on the European Tour.
Schwartzel moved to 15-under 201, with Morten Orum Madsen (69) and Marco Crespi (70) tied for second at Glendower Golf Club.
South Africa's Hennie Otto surged into fourth with a 65, another stroke behind on 13 under.
Schwartzel has won just one European Tour title since clinching the Masters in 2011 and has never won his home open. He mixed five birdies with two bogeys to put himself in a good position to claim the first title on the 2014 Race to Dubai.
"It was a bit up and down but I think I did what I needed to do," the South African said. "You always think some things could have been better."
Madsen also had five birdies and two drops to sit one off the pace alongside Crespi.
Italy's Andrea Pavan and Spain's Alejandro Canizares are tied for fifth on 11 under and Sweden's Magnus Carlsson is a shot back in a tie for eighth.
Two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen is still just about in contention for a first tournament win since March 2009 after his 70 on Saturday. Goosen is six shots back on Schwartzel after lifting himself with five birdies on his second nine following three dropped shots going out.
Former British Open champion David Duval of the United States and European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley of Ireland missed the cut.