Grace soars to joint top of SA Open leaderboard with eagle rush

Grace soars to joint top of SA Open leaderboard with eagle rush

I made eagle on the second hole and kind of kept it going from there."Tournament host Ernie Els carded an opening 71, while Retief Goosen was on three-under 69, together with Charl Schwartzel who had a frustrating day with three bogeys in his round.Grace was installed as the bookmakers' favourite ahead of the tournament, and if he plays like this when he's rusty, he's going to be hard to catch". It was just the second hole of the day, and I had something like 244 to the flag into the wind.

Grace said he had drawn on his experience of winning at Sun City last November during Saturday's late surge. "I thought I hit the ball superbly through 13 holes, but just couldn't get it in the hole".

Branden Grace launched his bid for back-to-back European Tour victories on home soil by firing a lead-sharing 65 in the South African Open at Glendower Golf Club near Johannesburg Thursday.

In sixth place and four off the lead is Darren Fichardt, who shot up the leaderboard on Saturday thanks to a thrilling eight-under-par 64 that included nine birdies and one bogey.

"Being tied for the lead isn't a position I've been in a lot", the 31-year-old from Hexham said after a round containing three birdies and a solitary bogey on the 16th.

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"I am excited for the weekend but there is still 36 holes to play and I must try to stay focused during the last two rounds". "I started very well, it was quite slow but after I made three birdies in a row on 15, 16 and 17, it was quite good".

"At the moment it is weird - I feel like I did not play incredible golf". Turning in three under for the round, the local claimed five birdies within six holes during the inward half to leap into contention for first prize.

"I'm looking forward to Sunday. There are low scores out there, but you just have to avoid the rough".

But it is Grace who will carry the momentum into the final day following his blistering finish, while compatriot Jacques Blaauw matched the highest-ranked player in the tournament on six-under for the day to take a share of third with Saddier and Chase Koepka.

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