Zander Lombard will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge despite his worst round of the week on home soil.

Lombard, chasing a first European Tour title, ground it out with a level-par 72 in Sun City to hold a slender advantage over fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen and Belgian Thomas Detry.

World number 234 Lombard started his third round with two-shot lead and extended that by one, but a double-bogey six at the eighth hole following a dropped shot at six put Oosthuizen out in front.

Lombard recovered with four birdies in the space of seven holes and despite another bogey at 16, he is the man to catch on 11 under at Gary Player Country Club.

The 24-year-old said: "I'm still in the lead. I've got to stay positive and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

"I just couldn't get it going today. I didn't really make any mistakes, I just missed two or three fairways that really put me behind the eight ball and you can't attack this golf course if you're not in the fairway.

"I don't want to sound cocky but it's been a long time coming. I've really made big strides in how I do things on and off the golf course. It's nice to get some feedback and some results from the hard work."

Oosthuizen is hot on the heels of his compatriot after carding a one-under 71, two bogeys costing him the lead on moving day.

Detry moved level with Oosthuizen by shooting a three-under 69, while Oliver Wilson rose into a share of fourth spot with a five-under 67 to join Marcus Kinhult on eight under.

Defending champion Lee Westwood is among six players who are five shots adrift of the leader.

Zander Lombard carded an impressive 65 on Friday to surge into a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Nedbank Challenge.

The South African – playing alongside defending champion Lee Westwood and legendary compatriot Ernie Els - managed six birdies and an eagle in a round that included just the one blemish, a bogey five at the first.

Lombard's low score saw him finish the second day of the tournament in Sun City at the top of the leaderboard on 11 under, though his advantage would have been greater had a birdie putt at the last dropped.

Asked if the day ranked as one of his best ever on a golf course, the world number 234 told Sky Sports: "It's definitely up there. Obviously, the nerves are out there for the first few holes, but I settled in quite quickly.

"With Ernie and Lee being lovely gents, we just had an awesome time out there. I really enjoyed today."

Westwood's hopes of defending his title were hit by a round of 73 that included a double-bogey six at the 13th, leaving him on three under. As for Els, an 81 had him languishing down on five over par through 36 holes.

Louis Oosthuizen began the day in front and finished it as compatriot Lombard's closest challenger at the summit, after following up an opening 63 with a level-par 72 to remain nine under.

The 2010 Open champion had been a doubt to play in the tournament due to kidney stones, yet he remains firmly in contention ahead of the weekend.

"Definitely a bit more fatigued today - especially those last six or seven holes," Oosthuizen told Sky Sports. "I hit the tee shot on 14 and felt it a bit on the right side, I think it was a bit more muscular related.

"The stones have passed, so I just need to get some rest and play well tomorrow."

Thomas Detry sat alone in third on seven under; the Belgian having been at one stage in a tie for top spot but successive bogeys on the back nine saw him slip off the pace.

Tommy Fleetwood signed for a second successive 69 to sit tied on six under with Swede Marcus Kinhult in fourth place, a shot clear of Aaron Rai, Jason Scrivener and Joachim B. Hansen.

Louis Oosthuizen hauled himself from his sick bed to produce a thrilling 63 and set the pace at the Nedbank Challenge in Sun City.

Struggling with kidney stones, Oosthuizen had to miss Wednesday's pro-am, instead spending a chunk of the day in hospital.

But the 37-year-old South African rejected thoughts of abandoning the tournament and hit nine birdies in a blemish-free round on Thursday. 

He revealed the secret to his success was a go-slow approach, ensuring he limited his pain levels and could focus on his swing

"Considering at 3am this morning I didn't think I was going to tee it up, I'm very chuffed with that round," said Oosthuizen, who sits three strokes clear of nearest rival Thomas Detry. 

He said he had been toiling "all of yesterday with kidney stones and this morning was very uncomfortable".

"You could see me walking slower and doing everything a little slower out there," he added.

"All of yesterday was very uncomfortable – I spent a bit of time in the hospital in Rustenburg.

"This morning was just a little niggly, but I went up to the range to hit a few shots and it didn't really bother me hitting - it was more the walking fast that got it, so I just slowed everything a little down and it worked nicely."

Oosthuizen has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four outings at the Gary Player Country Club, which stages this event.

The 2010 Open champion is also looking to add to his victory last December at the South African Open and he opened up a healthy lead on day one.

Italy's Guido Migliozzi held down third place after a five-under 67, one ahead of South Africans Ernie Els and Zander Lombard and England's Lee Westwood.

Four-time major winner Els, at 50, rolled back the years with four birdies and no bogeys.

"I didn't quite expect that. I haven't played too much golf recently," Els told the European Tour website. "I really came here with a plan to try and get a swing going, which I kind of did.

"I just went on memory, going around the golf course where I used to hit the ball. Today was a good day."

Tommy Fleetwood, whose ball was meddled with by mongooses on the 17th green, was one of 10 players to sign for a 69, leaving him three under.

Tommy Fleetwood encountered a new hazard on a golf course at the Nedbank Challenge as marauding mongooses stole the spotlight at Sun City.

The Englishman was approaching the end of his opening round when his second shot to the 17th, over water, was pounced upon by a gang of the curious small mammals.

They had been happily playing and munching the putting surface when Fleetwood's ball landed from a great height.

As it bounced on and settled around 25 feet from the hole, the mongooses' interest was piqued and a scurrying pair immediately pounced, nudging the ball along a few inches.

"They must think it's an egg," said a European Tour commentator.

Fleetwood laughed it off, with the 28-year-old writing on Twitter: "Anyone know the rule for a mongoose attack on your golf ball? Got to love Sun City."

Ryder Cup star Fleetwood was able to play on without further disruption, ending up with a par as he completed a three-under-par round of 69 to sit in a share of seventh place.

Local wildlife at the course in South Africa has grabbed the attention away from the golfers before.

Ian Poulter was pictured feeding monkeys before the 2017 Nedbank Challenge, and at the same year's event Scottish golfer-turned-commentator Andrew Coltart posted footage of a mongoose and snake in a dramatic face-off close to the course.

Rory McIlroy joked he may have beaten Tiger Woods for the first and last time after a statistic shared on social media indicated the world number two had set a new record.

A Twitter post reported McIlroy, who turned 30 in May, had become the youngest player to spend 500 weeks inside the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

According to the post, this betters the great Woods, the present number seven, who was four months older than McIlroy when he achieved the same feat.

Taking to his official Instagram account, McIlroy posted a screenshot of the statistic to his story and wrote: "The first (and maybe last) thing I've ever beaten Tiger at."

McIlroy, a four-time major winner, first moved into the top 10 in 2009, going on to become world number one three years later. 

Tyrrell Hatton won his first European Tour event in over two years as he triumphed in a dramatic six-man play-off in the Turkish Airlines Open.

The Englishman, who was seeking his first Tour win since October 2017, parred the fourth extra hole at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Antalya, with a play-off finished under floodlights for the first time in professional golf.

Hatton came into round four three shots adrift of the lead, but a birdie on his final hole meant he closed with 67 – enough to put him into a six-man play-off, the third in European Tour history, at 20 under.

Alongside Hatton going back up the 18th were Benjamin Hebert, Victor Perez, Kurt Kitayama, Erik van Rooyen and overnight leader Matthias Schwab.

With Van Rooyen dropping out early in the play-off, Hatton looked set to follow the South African, but kept his hopes alive with a pinpoint chip for a birdie.

A poor drive from Schwab meant he had to lay up, but the Austrian still managed to find the green and secure a birdie.

French duo Hebert and Perez were unable to match Schwab's or Hatton's efforts, with Kitayama squandering a six-foot putt and the chance for victory on the next trip up the 18th.

Birdies from Hatton and Schwab then sent Kitayama packing the next time around, as six became two in tense scenes in Antalya.

Hatton's failure to convert a short putt for birdie looked set to prove costly, yet the $2million prize went his way when Schwab missed what should have been a simple shot and bogeyed.

"It's so surreal. I actually can't believe I've won. It's been quite a difficult year in terms of things happening off course," Hatton said after securing his fourth European Tour victory.

"The last month, I feel like I've found my game again. I said to people in my team that if I was lucky enough to win again I'd definitely savour the moment and not take it for granted.

"Sport's great when it's going well but when it's not it definitely hits home. I'm absolutely thrilled."

Eddie Pepperell exited the Turkish Airlines Open in the third round in bizarre fashion as he ran out of balls on Saturday.

The Englishman failed to complete the fourth hole and was disqualified but did not stick around to offer an explanation.

It was left to playing partner Martin Kaymer to divulge what had happened, with Pepperell losing "four or five" balls into the water next to the green at the par-five fourth.

Tiger Woods infamously won the 2000 U.S. Open after getting down to his last ball earlier in the tournament, but Kaymer had never previously seen a fellow professional run out entirely.

"Eddie hit his shots to the green, then came over to tell us he had run out of balls," two-time major winner Kaymer said. "Then he walked off.

"I thought he lost four or five. We are about 80 per cent sure it was five, 20 per cent four. He was quick, so it was hard to keep track.

"He did not ask if he could borrow one from me or George [Coetzee, fellow partner]. It did not look like he wanted to play.

"He did not putt with his putter on the third hole; he putted with a wedge. So there was a lot happening.

"I have never seen anything like that before. I only watched it on television, in [the film] Tin Cup. This is the first time I have seen it live."

Pepperell was two over for the day and par for the week before his round completely fell apart.

Matthias Schwab increased his Turkish Airlines Open lead to three shots as Patrick Reed, Tyrrell Hatton and Benjamin Hebert surged into contention.

Schwab – seeking a maiden European Tour win – slept on a one-stroke advantage over Danny Willett, Ross Fisher, Thomas Detry and Alex Noren, but only Fisher could cling to the Austrian's coattails in Antalya on Saturday.

Indeed, while Schwab – who eagled the first and birdied the last, just as he had on Friday – carded a composed 66, Detry signed for a 73 as Willett and Noren each hit 74.

Fisher's 68 puts him in a five-man chasing group that includes Hatton and 2018 Masters champion Reed, who both went round in 65, while Frenchman Hebert went one better in the joint-best round of the day.

Heading into Sunday on 18 under par and with some big names on his trail, Schwab has no intention to alter his aggressive approach. 

"The game plan is going to be the same as it's been the last three days," said the 24-year-old, who has secured nine top-10 finishes this season.

"The course is gettable and there are a lot of birdies out there so I'll just stay aggressive because pars won't be enough."

Justin Rose saw his bid for a third consecutive win at the tournament stymied by a one-over-par 73, while fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell was disqualified after failing to complete the fourth hole - his 13th having started on the back nine - after making multiple visits to the water.

 

Matthias Schwab moved into an outright lead at the Turkish Airlines Open, with Danny Willett part of a closely bunched chasing pack after a low scoring round two.

Austrian Schwab shared the lead with Tom Lewis after round one and is now out ahead on his own after a five-under round of 67 moved him to 12 under for the tournament.

He has nine top-10 finishes this season but is still seeking his first win on the European Tour.

Friday's action also saw Pablo Larrazabal produce a hole-in-one at the fifth.

Schwab, 24, eagled the first hole to set himself up for a strong day in Antalya and was smooth from there, dropping just one shot on the fifth and finishing nicely with a birdie on the last.

"I think I scored well," said Schwab. "I wasn't really hitting them great at all, especially early on, but I kept it together. 

"I'll have to play aggressive golf and keep the foot on the gas pedal, pars will definitely not be enough this weekend."

Lewis, meanwhile, dropped down the leaderboard after a round of 70 left him three shots off the pace.

Four players – Willett, Ross Fisher, Thomas Detry and Alex Noren - sit one shot behind Schwab in a tie for second.

Willett scored 66 having birdied four of the first seven holes, while fellow Englishman Fisher had nine birdies in an impressive eight-under round of 64.

But it was Scotsman Robert MacIntyre who produced the best round of the tournament so far, not dropping a shot in a superb 63 that saw him hit the turn in 29.

MacIntyre is two shots behind Schwab along with Justin Harding, Jason Scrivener, David Lipsky and Justin Rose.

Rose therefore remains in contention to win this event, part of the Rolex Series, for a third straight year.

Matthias Schwab and Tom Lewis hold a share of the lead after the first round of the Turkish Open, with Justin Rose well poised in pursuit of a hat-trick. 

The in-form Schwab has nine top-10 finishes this season and the Austrian made a strong start at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal on Thursday, carding a seven-under 65.

Schwab hit the turn in 31 following a fine front nine that included an eagle three at the fourth, with the only blemish coming via a bogey on the ninth, before three birdies on the way back in enhanced his chances of securing a maiden European Tour win.

Lewis lit up the back nine as he capitalised on favourable conditions in Antalya by birdieing six of the last seven holes.

"I holed a lot of putts out there. It just happened to be my back nine and I had good fun," said Lewis. 

"The course suits me and hopefully I can make more [on Friday]."

Rose, winner of this tournament in each of the last two years, is just two shots off the pace after an impressive finish to his opening round, making gains at the last three holes.

The former world number one is a stroke behind Alex Noren, Thomas Pieters and David Lipsky.

Fellow major champion Danny Willett is among six players level with Rose on five under.

Phil Mickelson dropped out of the Official World Golf Rankings' (OWGR) top 50 on Monday, after almost 26 years in the sport's upper echelon.

He first entered the rankings in 1988 and made his debut in the top 50 five years later, producing the consistency to remain there for over a quarter of a century.

However, the first full week of November begins with Mickelson on the outside looking in, as he is now ranked 51 in the world.

Still, his remarkable spell in the top 50 is a testament to his longevity and staying power, and here we look at some of the key numbers from his incredible run.

 

5 - Mickelson has won five major titles, three of which have come in the Masters at Augusta, where he prevailed in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

47 - The 49-year-old has claimed a total of 47 victories in his career that count towards his OWGR. 

670 - Mickelson has competed in 670 OWGR-eligible tournaments in his career.

214 - He has finished in the top 10 in 31.9 per cent of those starts. In total Mickelson has 214 OWGR top-10s to his name.

774 - Mickelson spent 774 weeks inside the world's top 10 in an 18-year spell from 1996 to 2014.

269 - Mickelson spent a cumulative 269 weeks at second in the rankings. The man at number one in every time was Tiger Woods.

1,353 - With nearly 26 years in the top 50, Mickelson has been in the sport's upper echelon for 1,353 consecutive weeks.

Rory McIlroy came out on top in a play-off with Xander Schauffle to win the WGC-HSBC Champions and complete a historic hat-trick in Shanghai.

Four-time major champion McIlroy birdied the first extra hole to dethrone defending champion Schauffle at Sheshan International Golf Club on Sunday.

McIlroy's dramatic triumph made him the first European to win three World Golf Championship titles and took his tally of tournament victories this year to four.

The Northern Irishman started the day with a one-shot advantage and that is how he finished it after carding a bogey-free four-under 68, before a magnificent approach shot got him on the green in two on a second trip down 18.

FedEx Cup champion McIlroy missed a putt for an eagle, but his fifth birdie of the day was enough to win the tournament for the first time.

Schauffle, winner of a play-off at this event last year, birdied 18 to card a closing six-under 66 and join McIlroy on 19 under, but his tee shot in the play-off found thick rough at the side of a bunker and he me missed a birdie putt from 12 feet after having to lay up.

The American, suffering with the flu all week, reeled off three birdies in a row after a bogey at six to hit the turn in 32, trailing McIlroy by just a shot.

McIlroy was two strokes in front with four to play but gains at 15 and the last kept Schauffle in the hunt to defend his title before falling just short.

Louis Oosthuizen finished in third spot on 17 under after a three-under final round of 69, having been joint-leader with McIlroy when he drained a birdie putt at the eighth.

Dropped shots at nine and 11 cost the South African, while Matthas Schwab and Victor Perez finished with magnificent rounds of 66 to share third place along with Abraham Ancer.

Rory McIlroy will enter the weekend at the WGC-HSBC Champions one shot behind leader Matt Fitzpatrick after both men carded five-under 67s in Shanghai.

World number two McIlroy started the day three strokes adrift of overnight leader Li Haotong, but he briefly had a two-shot lead on Friday after a run of four birdies in a row between the third and sixth.

Dropped shots at nine and 16, coupled with Fitzpatrick's blemish-free round, saw the Englishman – who made birdies at the final two holes – hit the front.

However, McIlroy ensured he will go into the weekend brimming with confidence after an eagle at the par-five 18th, where his remarkable approach shot left him with a two-foot putt.

McIlroy has not won on the European Tour since 2016 but has finished second seven times in that run.

"Delighted with the first two rounds," he said in quotes published on the European Tour's website.

"To put myself right in contention going into the weekend is something that I wanted to do.

"It's something that I haven't done a lot of over the last few weeks.

"I've sort of had bad starts and then clawed my way back into a good position at the end but to be right in the tournament after two days, I'm excited."

Fitzpatrick, who is 11 under par for the tournament after coming home in 32 on Friday, is bidding to record his first victory in 2019 after winning at least one European Tour tournament each year since 2015.

He is two strokes clear of Adam Scott, Im Sung-jae and defending champion Xander Schauffele, with Li and Victor Perez a shot further back after both men were unable to crack 70.

Tiger Woods has matched Sam Snead's record haul of 82 PGA Tour wins.

Woods ended an 11-year wait for his 15th major title by triumphing at Augusta National this year, and he started his 2020 PGA Tour season with yet another title.

Snead's mark of 82 PGA Tour victories has stood since 1965, but on his return from knee surgery the 15-time major champion moved onto the same total after triumphing by three shots at the Zozo Championship on Monday.

We take a look at Woods' 82 triumphs to date.

1996
Las Vegas Invitational
Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic

1997
Mercedes Championships
Masters
GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic
Motorola Western Open

1998
BellSouth Classic

1999
Buick Invitational
Memorial Tournament
Motorola Western Open
US PGA Championship
NEC Invitational
National Car Rental Golf Classic Disney
Tour Championship
American Express Championship

2000
Mercedes Championships
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Bay Hill Invitational
Memorial Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open
US PGA Championship
NEC Invitational
Bell Canadian Open

2001
Bay Hill Invitational
The Players Championship
Masters
Memorial Tournament
NEC Invitational

2002
Bay Hill Invitational
Masters
U.S. Open
Buick Open
American Express Championship

2003
Buick Invitational
Match Play Championship
Bay Hill Invitational
Western Open
American Express Championship

2004
Match Play Championship

2005
Buick Invitational
Ford Championship at Doral
Masters
The Open
NEC Invitational
American Express Championship

2006
Buick Invitational
Ford Championship at Doral
The Open
Buick Invitational
US PGA Championship
Bridgestone Invitational
Deutsche Bank Championship
American Express Championship

2007
Buick Invitational
CA Championship
Wachovia Championship
Bridgestone Invitational
US PGA Championship
BMW Championship
Tour Championship

2008
Buick Invitational
Match Play Championship
Arnold Palmer Invitational
U.S. Open

2009
Arnold Palmer Invitational
Memorial Tournament
AT&T National
Buick Open
Bridgestone Invitational
BMW Championship

2012
Arnold Palmer Invitational
Memorial Tournament
AT&T National

2013
Farmers Insurance Open
Cadillac Championship
Arnold Palmer Invitational
The Players Championship
Bridgestone Invitational

2018
Tour Championship

2019
Masters
Zozo Championship

Tiger Woods made more history on Monday when he matched the great Sam Snead's record haul of 82 PGA Tour victories.

When Woods rolled in the winning putt at the Masters in April it was like reliving a bygone era, given it had been 11 years since the American's last major triumph.

There was considerable doubt whether Woods would ever challenge at the highest level again, as he sought to overcome career-threatening back injuries and a slump in form.

But he has shown he still has the game to land big titles, and by triumphing at the Zozo Championship in Japan, which drew a star-studded field, Woods moved level with Snead.

Here, we take a look at the timeline of Woods' dramatic, albeit largely injury-affected, fall and rise to becoming a major champion again.


September 2013 - Woods was named PGA Tour Player of the Year after winning five titles in 2013. He ended the year as world number one.

March 2014 - Underwent surgery to treat a pinched nerve and missed that year's Masters.

June 2014 - Returned to play the Quicken Loans National in June but missed the cut. He played The Open, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and US PGA Championship but struggled at all three and ended the year ranked 32nd.

February 2015 - After withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open, Woods announced an "indefinite break" due to poor form, He had recently shot an 11-over-par 82 at the Phoenix Open.

April 2015 - Returned to play the Masters and showed signs of promise - finishing tied-17th after going five under par for the tournament.

September 2015 - Having missed the cut at the U.S. Open and the Open Championship, the first time he had failed to make the weekend at back-to-back majors, Woods confirmed he had undergone a second major back surgery to correct a pinched nerve.

October 2015 - A month later, Woods underwent a follow-up procedure to his previous surgery to help relieve discomfort.

September 2016 - Woods filled the role of non-playing vice-captain in the United States' Ryder Cup victory at Hazeltine.

December 2016 - After a 15-month absence, Woods finally made his comeback at the Hero World Challenge and placed 15th.

February 2017 - Having failed to make the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open a week previously, Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour ahead of the second round, with his agent citing back spasms.

April 2017 - Woods announced he would miss the Masters for a second year running, and later that month he underwent a fourth major surgery to help ease pain in his back and leg.

May 2017 - A humiliating mugshot of Woods was released after he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Woods quickly explained the incident was due to "an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications". He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving at a Palm Beach County courthouse.

July 2017 - Woods' inactivity led to him dropping out of world's top 1,000.

December 2017 - Made his latest comeback at the Hero World Challenge and finished tied-ninth, before showing good form at the Valspar Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational early in 2018.

July 2018 -  Finished three shots behind winner Francesco Molinari at The Open, having held the lead midway through the final round at Carnoustie.

August 2018 - Carded a 64 - his lowest final round in a major - on the last day of the US PGA Championship to claim second place, two shots behind winner Brooks Koepka.

September 2018 - Woods secured the Tour Championship at East Lake, his long-awaited victory coming after he was named by captain Jim Furyk as a wildcard pick for the US team to face Europe in the Ryder Cup at the end of the month.

April 2019  - Fourteen years after winning the Masters for a fourth time, Woods claimed a fifth green jacket and celebrated a 15th major victory, coming from behind to win such a title for the first time.

October 2019 - Woods landed more silverware in brilliant style in Japan, landing the Zozo Championship title by three shots in Japan. It gave him an 82nd PGA Tour title, equalling the record set by Snead.

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