East London, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - Emiliano Grillo fired a 9- under on Saturday and vaulted into the lead after three rounds of the Africa Open.
Grillo ended 54 holes at 20-under-par 193. His total of 193 smashed the previous tournament record of 198, which James Kingston and Darren Clarke set in 2009, then Louis Oosthuizen and Tjaart van der Walt matched in 2012.
Oliver Fisher carded a 5-under 66 at East London Golf Club to move into second place at minus-18.
Second-round leader John Hahn managed an even-par 71 and he dipped into a share of third at 16-under 197. He was joined there by Richard Bland (64) and Thomas Aiken (66). Ulrich Van den Berg (65) and Fabrizio Zanotti (68) are tied for sixth at minus-14.
Defending champion Darren Fichardt carded his second straight 67 to end 54 holes at 13-under 200. He stands alongside David Horsey (70), Jens Dantorp (68) and Lucas Bjerregaard (69).
Grillo used several bursts of birdies to take control of this tournament. He opened with two pars and followed with back-to-back birdies at three and four.
The Argentine parred the fifth before a birdie on No. 6. He came right back with birdies at seven and eight to jump to 16-under, but he was still two behind Hahn.
Grillo ran off three straight pars from the ninth. He rolled in a birdie try on the 12th and made it two in a row as he also birdie the 13th. That gave him the lead at 18-under as Hahn stumbled to a bogey on No. 12 to dip to minus-17.
After a par on 14, Grillo followed a birdie on 15 with another at 16 to move three clear of the field. He closed with a pair of pars.
"I played well, but it was the putting that helped the most. I made some good ones on the back nine that kept my round going. I didn't hit it as close as I would have liked for 9-under, but I made them from all over," Grillo stated. "I played good for the whole round and I am quite happy with my game, so hopefully I can repeat it tomorrow."
Fisher birdied the third for the third round in a row. He came back with a birdie on the seventh to move to 15-under.
The Englishman gave both of those shots back as he bogeyed the eighth and 10th. He bounced right back with birdies on 11 and 12.
Fisher stumbled to another bogey at the par-4 13th. He erased that mistake with his third in three days at the 15th. Fisher followed with an eagle on the par-4 16th.
The 25-year-old has played the 15th and 16th at 7-under through three rounds. Fisher closed with a birdie at the last to end two behind Grillo.
NOTES: Grillo owns the 54-hole lead for the first time in his European Tour career ... Gregory Bourdy had a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th, which helped him shoot 69.