Quick start to third round launches Toby Tree into contention at Tshwane Open

13 Feb 2016 11:23

England's Toby Tree stormed into contention for the Tshwane Open on Saturday in just his fifth appearance on the European Tour.

Tree, whose only made cut came with a tie for 53rd in the same event 12 months ago, began the third round eight shots off the lead and made an inauspicious start with a bogey on the second at Pretoria Country Club.

However, the 21-year-old bounced back with birdies on the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth before firing an eagle on the par-five ninth to reach the turn in just 30 shots.

And when he chipped in for another eagle on the 12th, the world number 1,351 was up into a share of second place on six under par alongside former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and his fellow South Africans Zander Lombard and Haydn Porteous.

Schwartzel, who had surged through the field with a flawless 64 on Friday, had birdied the second hole to remain two behind overnight leader Anthony Michael, who had birdied the second and recovered from a bogey on the fourth with a birdie on the fifth.

Lombard had also covered the front nine in 30 thanks to a hat-trick of birdies from the sixth and chipping in for an eagle on the ninth, while Joburg Open winner Porteous had picked up shots on the fourth and fifth.