Golf

Grace leads Joburg Open

2012-01-15 12:37
Branden Grace (File)
Johannesburg - Branden Grace made five birdies in his final six holes in the third round of the €1,3-million Joburg Open being played at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club to take a three-stroke lead into the final round.

Scoreboard from the Joburg Open

He completed his third round early on Sunday morning after rain and darkness ended play the day before, and he followed his run of three birdies from the 13th with two more on 17 and 18 to close his third round in a fine seven-under-par 65 on the tough 6 995m East Course.

“We got a bit unlucky with the weather yesterday,” he said, “but I was nice and fresh early this morning, and I’ll take that start to a day any day.”

His 17-under-par total for 54 holes led England’s Richard Finch and George Coetzee who were on 14-under-par, with South Africans Michiel Bothma and Jbe’ Kruger a further stroke back.

Finch stumbled on the 17th where he made bogey, while Coetzee parred his way home.

And, while Grace was easing clear at the top, his cousin Bothma chipped in for eagle on the 18th to get into contention.

“I was hoping for that all of last night,” laughed Bothma. “I’d left myself with about an eight-footer on 17 for par, and drained it this morning. I said to my caddie if we could finish par-eagle, it would be fantastic, and it happened!”

Grace will approach the final round much as he has the first three. “I’m hitting the ball well, and I’m putting really nicely, which is a bonus for me at this stage,” he said. “I’m going to try and do the same thing I’ve been doing the whole week.”

Coetzee will use the same strategy: “Sometimes you’ve just got to ease the ball up the fairway,” he said. “It’s about waiting for the chances to come along, and not making mistakes along the way.”

Scores (RSA unless specified):

198 - Branden Grace 67 66 65
201 - Richard Finch (ENG) 66 66 69, George Coetzee 65 67 69
202 - Michiel Bothma 68 66 68, Jbe' Kruger 67 66 69
203 - Andrew Parr (CAN) 70 69 64, Dawie van der Walt 70 66 67
204 - Danny Willett (ENG) 69 67 68, Retief Goosen 66 67 71, Robert Rock (ENG) 65 67 72
205 - Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 70 67 68, Trevor Fisher Jnr 68 68 69, Jaco van Zyl 67 69 69, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 70 66 69, Marc Warren (SCO) 66 69 70, Scott Jamieson (SCO) 68 67 70, Shaun Norris 65 69 71
206 - David Drysdale (SCO) 65 72 69, Reinier Saxton (NED) 64 73 69, Warren Abery 66 72 68, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 70 66 70, Thomas Aiken 68 68 70
207 - Matthew Nixon (ENG) 70 67 70, Julien Quesne (FRA) 65 72 70, Ulrich van den Berg 68 68 71, Jean Hugo 68 67 72, Darren Fichardt 68 71 68, George Murray (SCO) 65 69 73
208 - Jamie Elson (ENG) 63 75 70, Craig Lee (SCO) 64 74 70, Jordi Garcia (ESP) 66 72 70, Adam Gee (ENG) 69 70 69, Lee Slattery (ENG) 72 67 69, Doug McGuigan 69 70 69
209 - Theunis Spangenberg 69 68 72, Ryan Tipping 68 69 72, Jake Roos 69 68 72, Phillip Archer (ENG) 71 67 71, Daniel Gaunt (AUS) 69 67 73, Markus Brier (AUT) 71 68 70, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 66 73 70, Lyle Rowe 66 69 74, Sam Little (ENG) 68 71 70
210 - Chris Swanepoel 68 69 73, Brandon Pieters 66 71 73, Divan van den Heever 67 70 73, Brandon Stone (AMA) 72 65 73, Andrew Marshall (ENG) 70 69 71, Damien McGrane (IRL) 63 71 76
211 - Hendrik Buhrmann 72 66 73, Anthony Wall (ENG) 73 65 73, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 71 68 72, Alastair Forsyth(SCO) 74 65 72
212 - Peter Karmis 64 73 75, Justin Walters 69 70 73, Roope Kakko (FIN) 71 68 73, Joel Sjoholm (SWE) 65 74 73, Desvonde Botes 65 69 78, Benjamin Hebert (FRA) 67 72 73
213 - Scott Pinckney (USA) 64 72 77, Anthony Snobeck (FRA) 72 67 74, Keith Horne 72 67 74
214 - Thomas Norret (DEN) 66 71 77, Carlos Del Moral (ESP) 65 72 77, Sam Hutsby (ENG) 68 71 75
217 - Steven Ferreira 74 65 78
220 - Bennie van der Merwe 67 72 81
 

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