Waterkloof, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - Adrian Otaegui struggled to a 2-over 72 in Saturday's third round and he dropped into a 6-way tie for the lead at the Tshwane Open.
Otaegui, who fired a 62 in the second round, ended 54 holes at 9-under-par 201. He was joined atop the leaderboard by Wallie Coetsee (68), Craig Lee (66), first-round co-leader David Horsey (69), George Coetzee (68) and last week's winner Trevor Fisher, Jr. (69).
Ockie Strydom (67) and Erik Van Rooyen (67) share seventh place at minus-8 at Pretoria Country Club.
Edoardo Molinari stumbled to a 1-over 71 and slipped into a tie for ninth place at 7-under-par 203. He stands alongside Raphael Jacquelin (68) and first-round co-leader Morten Orum Madsen (68).
Otaegui, who led by two at the start of the round, had a bogey at the fourth to go with four pars in his first five holes. He was still ahead by one, but that quickly moved to three when he birdied the sixth and Coetsee bogeyed the 10th.
After a par on No. 7, Otaegui moved to 12-under with a birdie at the eighth. He was three clear of Horsey at that point, but stumbled to bogeys at nine and 10. As Otaegui parred the next two holes, Horsey joined him in the lead.
Horsey parred seven in a row to start his day. He birdied eight and nine. After stumbling to a bogey at 11, Horsey came right back with a birdie on the 12th to joined Otaegui at minus-10.
Otaegui 3-putted for bogey from the front fringe on No. 13 to slip one back. He atoned for that mistake with a birdie at 15. However, he gave that right back as he bogeyed the 16th. The Spaniard parred the last two holes to end in a tie for the lead.
"I played okay and I'm pretty confident for tomorrow. I think there were good things to learn from today and tomorrow is another chance," said Otaegui. "I don't want to change anything and we'll see what happens. We just have to keep the ball in play and stay smart."
Horsey parred four in a row from the 13th, then faltered to a bogey at the 17th. He parred 18 to post minus-9.
Coetsee traded a birdie at the third for a bogey at the fourth. Birdies at six and eight got him within one of the lead. His short par putt at the 10th lipped out. Coetsee got that stroke back when he birdied the 13th. He closed with five straight pars.
Lee had two bogeys and two birdies in his first six holes. He flew into a share of the lead with four birdies over the final 10 holes.
Coetzee, who grew up playing Pretoria Country Club, birdied the first, but 3- putted for bogey at the third. After five pars in a row, he birdied the ninth for the third straight day to make the turn at minus-8. Coetzee parred the first eight holes on the back nine, before closing with a birdie at the 18th.
"It was a bit of a battle out there to get the putts to go in. I was patient enough and luckily I got the one on the last," Coetzee stated. "It's lucky that no one has run away with it just yet. I'll try to keep posting good rounds and hopefully I produce a really good one tomorrow and win."
Fisher tumbled well off the pace as he bogeyed four of five holes from the third. He started to climb back into contention with birdies at eight and nine. Fisher posted three more birdies on the inward nine to end at minus-9.
NOTES: Of the six leaders, Otaegui, Lee and Coetsee are all looking for their first tour victories ... Horsey has three European Tour victories, while Fisher and Coetzee have one win apiece ... Brett Rumford withdrew due to an illness prior to starting the third round.