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Saturday, 21 April 2012
Branden Grace  (Getty Images)
Branden Grace (Getty Images)

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Branden Grace’s remarkable form continued at the Volvo China Open as the South African raced into a two shot lead during the third round at Binhai Lake.

Since coming through The European Tour Qualifying School at the end of 2011, the 23 year old has won back-to-back titles and risen to sixth in The Race to Dubai.

One behind Gary Boyd and Jean-Baptiste Gonnet overnight, Grace raced into the lead with birdies at the second and fifth before holing a 20 foot eagle putt at the long sixth.

At 14 under he was two clear of Swedish pair Fredrik Andersson-Hed and Alex Noren, both of whom produced some brilliant golf on Moving Day.

Former Italian Open champion Andersson-Hed holed a five foot birdie putt at the last for a bogey-free 64, while his compatriot Noren had seven birdies in eight holes from the eighth to be eight under for the day with two to play.

Gonnet remained on 11 under par, the Frenchman seeing a birdie at the second cancelled out when he three-putted from just off the edge of the third green, while Boyd was part of a group of 12 players on ten under.

The Englishman led outright when he birdied the first from 15 feet, but he duffed his chip to the second and three-putted, then three-putted the third from off the green for back-to-back bogeys.

Defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts and Ryder Cup star Francesco Molinari were also amongst those lurking four off the lead.

Grace’s run continued as he chipped to three feet from the rough for a birdie at the seventh to pull three clear.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1GRACE, BrandenRSA18-21
2COLSAERTS, NicolasBEL18-18
3FINCH, RichardENG18-17
T4DUBUISSON, VictorFRA18-16
T4COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-16
T6GONZALEZ, RicardoARG18-15
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