Knappe moved to 17 under par overall Saturday after collecting eight birdies in his third-round, 7-under 65 at The Club at Steyn City in Johannesburg. He could have had a two-shot lead if not for a bogey on No. 17, his first dropped shot since the first round.
Bachem, who led by one overnight, is still in contention in a four-way tie for second, one shot behind after a 69.
Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren surged up the leaderboard to join that tie for second after carding the round of the week, a flawless 9-under 63. South Africa’s Hennie du Plessis and Malaysia’s Gavin Green are also on 16 under.
Saturday’s start was delayed by rain but the damp course didn’t faze Knappe, and two birdies in his first three holes sent him on his way.
“I could have been lower but then on 17 made one bogey,” Knappe said. “Still, I’m a human being, I can’t be hard on myself. I had no strategy, to be honest, I just played golf and see how it ended up, and shot 7 under which is nice.”