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Matteo Manassero closes in on long-awaited DP World Tour win in South Africa

Matteo Manassero remained on track for a first DP World Tour win in over a decade after maintaining his one-shot lead on day three of the Jonsson Workwear Open.

The Italian became the youngest winner in the history of the Europe-based circuit when he lifted the trophy at the 2010 Castello Masters aged just 17 years and 188 days and looked on course to become one of the stars of the game as he won in each of the next three seasons.

But since his triumph at the 2013 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, he has not won on a top-tier tour, losing his card in 2018 before claiming two victories on the Challenge Tour last season to regain his seat at the top table.

A 67 on day three in South Africa left him at 20 under, one clear of England's Jordan Smith and South African Shaun Norris, but Manassero was not getting carried away at the prospect of completing his remarkable comeback.

"It would mean a lot," he said. "It would mean that I have done a really nice journey up to here but it is already a nice journey up to today so we'll think about tomorrow tomorrow.

"We'll see how it goes. It's really difficult to close tournaments out and to win. I'm in a position that I'm really happy to be in and all I can do is not force anything… I'm just going to try and be myself and play golf."

Smith carded an eagle and seven birdies to surge up the leaderboard and would have been even better off had he not called a penalty on himself at the 13th.

The 31-year-old moved his ball while addressing it and consulted a referee, surrendering a one-stroke penalty and a resulting bogey.

"It's the first time that's ever happened to me but it's just one of those things that you've got to take on the chin and get on with it," he said.

Northern Ireland's Tom McKibbin was four shots off the lead, one ahead of Scot Connor Syme.

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