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Coetzee making late bid to join Match Play field

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George Coetzee will be eyeing more than just the winner's trophy Sunday during the final round of the Joburg Open in his native South Africa.

Following a 3-under 69, Coetzee sits among a tie for fifth through 54 holes, four shots behind co-leaders Thomas Aiken and Justin Walters as he looks to win for the first time on the European Tour. His results thus far mark a continuation of good form, as the 27-year-old notched top-five finishes in both Abu Dhabi and Qatar last month during the Tour's Desert Swing.

A second goal, though, may require a calculator. Coetzee entered this week at No. 73 in the latest world ranking, still with a chance to crack the field for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. While the top 64 players in Monday's ranking will qualify, the decision by a trio of top players - Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson - to skip the event extends the bubble down to No. 67 in the rankings. Coetzee will likely need a top-four finish Sunday to move into the top 67 and return to Dove Mountain for the third straight year.

Of course, Coetzee's results are not occuring in a vacuum and his ranking could be affected by the results at Pebble Beach. Namely, Ryan Palmer and Robert Garrigus are both tied for sixth through two rounds and could jump Coetzee in the rankings with a high finish; Palmer began the week at No. 81, while Garrigus started at No. 98.

Coetzee's possible rewards do not end with a plane ticket to Arizona, though. The Joburg Open also serves as part of the Open Qualifying Series, meaning that the top three players not already qualified will punch a ticket to the Open Championship this summer. Gregory Bourdy is the only player currently exempt to Royal Liverpool who will begin the final round inside the top 40, so it's likely that the three berths will go to the top three names on the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon. Coetzee has played in the season's third major each of the last three years, finishing a career-best 15th in 2011 at Royal St. George's.