Pair share top spot at Africa Open


2009 European TourEAST LONDON, South Africa – Thomas Aiken shot a 4-under 69 Saturday to share the lead after the third round of the Africa Open with Trevor Fisher Jr., who caddied for him in last year’s CA Championship on the PGA Tour.

Fisher Jr. (71) and Aiken are on 16-under 203 at East London Golf Club to lead fellow South African Jbe’ Kruger (67) by a stroke.

South African players Jake Roos (66) and Charl Schwartzel (68) are on 205.

Aiken had an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys to rise from equal third, while Fisher Jr. made four birdies and two bogies after being the second-round leader European Tour event.

“I had a bit of a stomach bug during the night and I didn’t sleep well,” Fisher Jr. said. “I also had some hot flushes before I teed off, so I lay down for a bit in the car. But maybe it was good for me, because I was pretty relaxed out there.

“I think Thomas and I will relax each other (in the final round).”

Aiken finished seventh in the 2009 CA Championship with Fisher Jr. carrying his clubs.

“That was a turning point in my career,” Aiken said.

Aiken went eagle-bogey-birdie in the first three holes Saturday before making nine straight pars. A run of three straight birdies from the 15th brought what he called his best shot of the day.

“I hit a 6-iron off the 17th to two feet, and that was a good shot off an elevated tee into the wind,” Aiken said. “It was a pretty daunting shot.”

Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke had a triple-bogey on the last to shoot a 71 for a share of 34th at 210.