JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence will take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Joburg Open as he tries to reclaim the title he won two years ago.

Lawrence, who led after the first round, returned to the top of the leaderboard Saturday with a 3-under 67 to go 15 under overall at Houghton Golf Club. He made four birdies to go with one bogey in the third round.

South Africans locked out the top six spots. Dean Burmester (68) is Lawrence’s nearest chaser at three shots back. Jacques Kruyswijk (69) and Nikhil Rama (72), the overnight leader, are four shots back.

The Joburg Open is the season-opening event on the European tour. The 2024 season began on Thursday only four days after the 2023 one finished in Dubai.

The event marks the start of three straight tournaments taking place in South Africa and co-sanctioned with the country’s Sunshine Tour.

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