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Immelman in Front After Record Day

December 16, 2006

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AP) _ Trevor Immelman shot a course-record 9-under 63 Saturday to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the South African Open.

Overnight leader Patrik Sjoland, who set the previous course record of 64 on Friday, shot 69 and slipped to third, five shots behind Immelman’s 20-under 196.

Ernie Els managed a 66 and was second to Immelman, the PGA Rookie of the Year, on the 6,963-yard, par-72 Humewood Golf Club course.

``It was a great day for me. Any time you can shoot a good round in Ernie’s presence is a great feeling,″ Immelman said.

Els was satisfied with a round that included five birdies and an eagle.

``I hit the ball beautifully, so I can’t complain. I’ve got to play the same in the final round and then I’ll definitely have a chance,″ he said.

Els said that Immelman’s birdies at 11 and 18, where he made bogey and par, were the difference between the two.

Retief Goosen and Andrew Raitt shot 68 and were seven shots back in a tie for fourth. Lee Westwood shot his third consecutive 68 for a share of sixth with Darren Fichardt, who had a 7-under 65 for the third round.

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