European Tour

Stone storms to Leopard Creek lead

2016-12-02 23:55
Brandon Stone (Gallo Images)
Malelane – A cliché becomes one because it’s true, and Brandon Stone proved that one should ‘beware the injured golfer’ as he overcame a wonky back to card a six-under-par 66 on Friday to take the halfway lead in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

He eagled the 18th with his best drive of the day and a soaring 185-yard six-iron approach shot to eight feet, and that took him to 11-under for the tournament, and past defending champion Charl Schwartzel and England’s Chris Hanson by one stroke. George Coetzee and Keith Horne were on nine-under.

I’m very happy with that round,” said Stone.

“I woke up this morning, and the back was feeling a little sore. On the range, it didn’t really feel too great either. During the course of the day, it got progressively worse. Then I had to hit one out of the deep jungle on the right of eight and really tweaked it.

“But I got some good physio treatment from my trainer behind the ninth green, got the back sorted for a few holes and it held up for the back nine. Right now, it feels as if it needs to have an elbow dug into it. I said to myself when I hit the tee shot down 18, ‘That’s the last one I’ve got in me!’ So I’ve got to go and get some physiotherapy now, and I hope I’m fresh as a daisy tomorrow.”

He started the round with successive birdies as he set off in pursuit of Schwartzel, who is as dominant over this course as anyone can possibly be, with four wins and four second-place finishes in 11 starts. He dropped a shot at the fourth and pulled that back with a birdie on six. He made three birdies and a bogey on the back nine ahead of that superb play on 18, at which point he found himself with that edge over the king of Leopard Creek.

“Charl seems to like this place,” laughed Stone.

“I hope we get drawn together tomorrow, and I hope we can have a good weekend of competition against each other.”

Schwartzel was also looking forward to the weekend.

“I’m hoping to start flushing the ball a little bit,” he said.

“Do that with the long game and it’s going to be fine. I mean I’m right up there. Maybe I can hit the ball a little bit better; maybe I can time it a little bit better. The game is not a game of perfection, so I’ve done well with what I’ve had so far.”

Hanson matched Coetzee’s seven-under-par 65 for the best round of the day, and the single difference in their rounds was that Coetzee had a double-bogey on the card, while Hanson had just a single.

“I didn’t seem to get out of position too much and get into any bother,” said the Englishman.

“Front nine was relatively stress free which is always nice. Made one slip up on the back nine but other than that a really nice back nine as well and nice to birdie the last to shoot seven-under.”

Scores:

133 - Brandon Stone 67 66

134 - Charl Schwartzel 66 68, Chris Hanson 69 65

135 - George Coetzee 70 65, Keith Horne 69 66

136 - Jean Hugo 67 69, Branden Grace 69 67, Benjamin Hebert 70 66, Alexander Bjork 67 69, Thomas Aiken 69 67

137 - Christiaan Bezuidenhout 70 67, Carlos Pigem 68 69, Pablo Larrazabal 67 70

138 - Scott Jamieson 67 71, Richard McEvoy 72 66, Jaco Ahlers 68 70, Nathan Kimsey 69 69, Richard Sterne 68 70

139 - Paul Dunne 66 73, Justin Harding 68 71, JC Ritchie 70 69, Dylan Frittelli 68 71, Joel Stalter 70 69, Bryce Easton 70 69

140 - Max Orrin 67 73, Ulrich van den Berg 70 70, Dean Burmester 68 72, Michael Hoey 69 71, Doug McGuigan 70 70, Thomas Detry 69 71, Graeme Storm 73 67

141 - Bernd Ritthammer 72 69, Peter Karmis 70 71, Tjaart van der Walt 69 72, Anthony Michael 69 72, Erik van Rooyen 71 70, Jake Roos 71 70, Matthieu Pavon 72 69, David Drysdale 70 71, Madalitso Muthiya 70 71, Jbe' Kruger 71 70, Richard S Johnson 72 69

142 - Hennie du Plessis 73 69, Sebastian Heisele 70 72, Damien Perrier 69 73, Garth Mulroy 69 73, Clement Sordet 73 69, Zander Lombard 74 68, Pontus Widegren 71 71, Adrien Saddier 68 74, Jeff Winther 71 71, Morten Orum Madsen 72 70, Jens Fahrbring 70 72, Neil Schietekat 70 72, Chris Swanepoel 76 66, Jean-Paul Strydom 70 72

143 - Espen Kofstad 70 73, Ashley Chesters 72 71, Paul Maddy 74 69, Keenan Davidse 73 70, Jamie Rutherford 68 75, Colin Nel 68 75, Vaughn Groenewald 70 73, Gregory Havret 70 73, Simon Griffiths 73 70, Shaun Norris 71 72, Christofer Blomstrand 72 71, Callum Mowat 73 70, Ockie Strydom 72 71, Matthew Nixon 71 72, Andrew Curlewis 75 68, Rhys West 70 73

Missed the cut:

144 - Adilson Da Silva 71 73, Oliver Bekker 71 73, Danie van Tonder 69 75, Marcus Armitage 72 72, Arthur Horne 74 70, Titch Moore 72 72, Lasse Jensen 74 70, Rourke van der Spuy 74 70, Albert Venter 74 70, Jake Redman 71 73

145 - Pablo Martin Benavides 72 73, Daniel Brooks 75 70, Jared Harvey 72 73, Laurie Canter 71 74, Andrew Georgiou 73 72, Tung-Hung Hsieh 72 73, Merrick Bremner 72 73, DJ Loypur 73 72, Michael Hollick 73 72, Dale Brandt-Richards 75 70, John Parry 72 73, Tyrone Ferreira 74 71

146 - Scott Henry 72 74, Louis de Jager 73 73, Justin Walters 74 72, Adrian Otaegui 73 73, Steven Tiley 71 75, Andre de Decker 72 74

147 - Mark Williams 70 77, Anton Karlsson 69 78, Rafa Echenique 74 73, Rahil Gangjee 79 68, Daniel Im 73 74, Mark Foster 71 76, Gregory Bourdy 75 72, Jason Froneman 75 72

148 - Christopher Cannon 71 77, Eddie Pepperell 74 74, Matt Wallace 72 76

149 - Toto Thimba 75 74, Dwayne Basson 76 73, Sebastien Gros 72 77, Darren Fichardt 72 77, Lindsay Renolds 69 80, Ross McGowan 74 75, Omar Sandys 72 77, Heath Slocum 75 74, Wallie Coetsee 73 76, Scott Vincent 72 77, Gary Stal 75 74, Teboho Sefatsa 76 73

150 - Lyle Rowe 81 69, Ruan de Smidt 75 75, Heinrich Bruiners 79 71, Tyrone Mordt 71 79, Warren Abery 75 75

151 - Christiaan Basson 77 74, Allister de Kock 72 79, Ben Wharton 79 72, Steven Ferreira 72 79

152 - Haydn Porteous 75 77, Pep Angles 79 73

153 - Jacques Kruyswijk 79 74, Alexander Pitty 77 76

154 - Jason King 78 76, Ryan Carter 77 77, Darren Clarke 78 76, Jack Hume 73 81, Clayton Bridges 76 78

155 - Fei-Hao Yang 76 79, Alvaro Quiros 81 74, Dayne Moore 78 77

156 - Chun Kang Hung 77 79

157 - Marc Cayeux 81 76, Pieter Kruger 81 76, Alex Haindl 77 80, Jeff Inglis 76 81

158 - Braden Becker 81 77

160 - Ryan Bernard 76 84

162 - Irvin Mazibuko 82 80

169 - Brett Liddle 85 84

173 - Leorin Pillay 84 89

RTD - PH McIntyre 77 RTD, Tim Hart 76 RTD

Read more on:    brandon stone  |  golf
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