Charl Schwartzel leads the Alfred Dunhill Championship

Charl Schwartzel holds a two shot lead at the Alfred Dunhill Championship

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Charl Schwartzel holds a two shot lead at the Alfred Dunhill Championship

November 28, 2015: Charl Schwartzel saw his lead at the Alfred Dunhill Championship cut to two shots midway through the third round as rookie Sebastien Gros announced himself on The European Tour with a stunning 63.

Schwartzel has won this event three times and after establishing a five-shot lead at the halfway stage, the signs were ominous for the rest of the field coming into the weekend.

But the South African could only pick up a single shot on the front nine to get to 12 under, two clear of Gros who made nine birdies in an unblemished effort.

The 26 year old was playing just his second European Tour event after finishing second on The Challenge Tour and set the clubhouse target at ten under before the final group had teed off.

The Frenchman was a two-time winner on The Challenge Tour last season and looked on course to go out in the late groups on Saturday before three dropped shots in the last three holes of his second round derailed his progress.

But birdies on the third, fifth, sixth, seventh, tenth, 11th, 13th, 15th and 16th moved him right into contention and he was soon into a share of the lead as Schwartzel dropped a shot on the first.

The 31 year old was struggling to find his range and needed to make a nervy six-footer on the third to save his par.

As the overnight leader slipped back, the chasing pack closed in with Joost Luiten making birdies on the second, sixth and seventh to get within one of the summit.

Jason Scrivener, who came through Qualifying School for the second consecutive season to get his card, was also on the move with birdies on the second, fifth and sixth helping get him to eight under alongside Benjamin Hebert.

The Frenchman also had two birdies including a gain on the seventh that was just a couple of rolls from being a hole-in-one.

Schwartzel had made birdie on the sixth in the first two rounds and he continued that trend to get back into the lead after a wedge onto the green and a 10-foot putt.

He then put his tee shot on the par three seventh on the left edge of the green and rolled in a 20-foot putt to open up a two-shot lead.

South African Dylan Frittelli was in the clubhouse at eight under with a 66 alongside Luiten who dropped a shot on the ninth to turn in 33.

Grégory Bourdy finished his round of 67 with four consecutive birdies to get to seven under alongside countryman Hebert who dropped a shot on the eighth.

Defending champion Brendan Grace was then at six under after a 66 that got his campaign back on track.

The six-time European Tour winner came into the week in good form after a third-place finish at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai and The Race to Dubai but struggled to find his best form over the first two days as he went 71-73.

He was in the second group out on Saturday and birdied the second but gave the shot straight back before gains on the sixth and eighth saw him turn in 33. A hat-trick of birdies from the 13th then catapulted him up the leaderboard and a closing birdie got him into the top ten.

Frenchman Thomas Linard, who finished ninth on The Challenge Tour in 2015, was also at six under after a 67 with Scrivener also six off the lead after bogeys at the ninth and tenth.

Pic Credit: European Tour/Getty Images

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