Sunshine Tour

Grace makes moving day count at SA Open

2018-01-13 17:41
Branden Grace (Gallo Images)

Ekurhuleni - Branden Grace came from five shots behind the leading Chris Paisley in round three of the SA Open at Glendower Golf Club and shot six-under 66 to total 14-under for the tournament, reducing that deficit to a single shot ahead of the final round.

His front nine was not impressive by his lofty standards as he only managed to make a pair of birdies and an unwanted bogey on the ninth hole.

“I got frustrated out there to be quite honest,” he said of his front nine. “I thought I hit the ball superbly through 13 holes, but just couldn’t get it in the hole. I think the putting stroke was a little bit quick and I pushed and pulled a few.”

He got his groove back after the turn with a par on the 10th that was followed by a birdie. He made another par on 12 and followed that up with yet another birdie on 13. He went on to make further gains as he birdied 15, 16 and 17 in a flawless back nine.

“Zack told me the whole day, ‘You know, you’re hitting it well. Just stay patient and sooner or later it’s going to drop in,’,” Grace said. “I normally get on a little streak like that. When you make the one, you kind of feel that surge of adrenalin and you run with it a little bit. One thing led to another and there I was three or four birdies later.”

Despite the frustration he felt through those holes on the front, Grace was always positive about his chances of a good finish.

“Through 13 holes, I think I was five or six behind. I told myself to stay positive,” he said, “I was four or five behind going into the last day at the Nedbank, so I thought if I could get the margin pretty small, I could still have a chance. Now I’ve played myself right back into it and I’m really excited going into tomorrow.”

Paisley, on the other hand, had a quiet and steady afternoon in which he made a single bogey and three birdies to get to 15-under. Tied with France’s Adrien Saddier at the top before the start of the round, the Englishman was not going to put any sort of pressure on himself in round three.

“Yeah, obviously being tied for the lead isn’t a position I’ve been in a lot,” Paisley said. “I’m really proud with how I’ve played, I felt really calm and never really felt stressed. I drove the ball really well and I felt like I actually played better than yesterday – just didn’t really hole the putts.”

In a share of third lie Jacques Blaauw, Chase Koepka and Saddier who are all 12-under while Darren Fichardt’s eight-under 64 catapulted him to 11-under and into sixth position. The trio of Denmark’s Jeff Winther, Trevor Fisher Jnr and Jacques Kruyswijk are all on 10-under-par.

Scores:

201 - Chris Paisley 66 65 70

202 - Branden Grace 65 71 66

204 - Jacques Blaauw 68 70 66, Chase Koepka 65 71 68, Adrien Saddier 68 63 73

205 - Darren Fichardt 70 71 64

206 - Jeff Winther 68 72 66, Trevor Fisher Jnr 69 70 67, Jacques Kruyswijk 68 67 71

207 - JC Ritchie 72 70 65, Richard Bland 69 72 66, Jorge Campillo 70 70 67, Matthieu Pavon 72 67 68, Kyle McClatchie 68 71 68, Renato Paratore 71 67 69, Scott Vincent 70 66 71

208 - Marcus Kinhult 70 72 66, Dylan Frittelli 70 71 67, Charl Schwartzel 69 70 69

209 - Adilson Da Silva 69 73 67, Ryan Evans 74 67 68, Rourke van der Spuy 69 71 69, Nacho Elvira 67 70 72, Retief Goosen 69 67 73

210 - Charlie Ford 71 72 67, Louis de Jager 74 69 67, Ockie Strydom 75 67 68, Justin Harding 75 67 68, Shaun Norris 71 70 69, Richard Sterne 67 74 69, Erik van Rooyen 67 72 71, Soomin Lee 70 68 72

211 - Gregory Bourdy 75 69 67, Mark Williams 72 70 69, Andy Sullivan 70 72 69, Matt Wallace 68 74 69, Tyrone Ferreira 68 74 69, Pedro Oriol 71 71 69, Neil Schietekat 70 72 69, Anthony Michael 71 71 69, Ernie Els 71 70 70, Justin Walters 69 69 73

212 - Oliver Fisher 69 72 71, Vaughn Groenewald 69 72 71

213 - Bradley Neil 67 77 69, Hennie Otto 71 72 70, Jamie Donaldson 70 72 71, James Kingston 73 68 72, Breyten Meyer 70 71 72, Daniel van Tonder 70 70 73, Rhys West 72 66 75

214 - David Drysdale 72 72 70, Jbe' Kruger 74 70 70, Zack Byrd 69 71 74

215 - Keenan Davidse 76 68 71, Ulrich van den Berg 68 75 72, Musiwalo Nethunzwi 72 71 72, Toto Thimba 73 70 72, Jean Hugo 73 70 72, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 69 72 74, Ruan de Smidt 72 69 74, Matt Saulez 69 70 76

216 - Jens Dantorp 72 72 72, Dean Burmester 77 67 72, MJ Viljoen 70 73 73, Marc Warren 73 69 74

217 - Brett Rumford 71 71 75, Garrick Higgo 68 73 76, Marcus Armitage 72 69 76

218 - Colin Nel 71 73 74, Oliver Farr 73 70 75, Jake Roos 69 72 77

219 - Austin Connelly 70 73 76

220 - George Coetzee 72 71 77

221 - Pontus Widegren 72 71 78

Read more on:    european tour  |  sa open  |  branden grace  |  golf
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