Saturday, 09 January 2016
Day 3 Highlights - The BMW SA Open

Brandon Stone moved into a share of the lead at The BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni as weather once again ended proceedings early at Glendower Golf Club.

Daniel Brooks had been one of 78 players who had to return early on Saturday morning to complete their second rounds and he had opened up a one-shot midway lead with six birdies in his last 11 holes moving him to nine under par.

The Englishman also picked up a shot on the front nine in his third round but Stone reeled him in at ten under with five birdies in his 11 holes before the players were brought off due to the threat of lightning for the third round in a row at 1525 local time.

The final group were stood on the tenth tee when play was called off and the players will return to complete the third round at 0730 on Sunday morning.

South African Keith Horne was level par for his front nine to sit at eight under with countrymen Chris Swanepoel and Christiaan Bezuidenhout a further shot back.

Brooks is no stranger to inclement conditions, having won his only European Tour title at the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI in 2014, which was reduced to 36 holes due to the weather.

South African Stone, who has two top tens in 27 appearances on The European Tour, is regarded as a hot prospect in his homeland and won a maiden Sunshine Tour event in November.

Brooks continued where he left off in the morning as he put his approach on the first to 20 feet and rolled in the putt to get to double figures and open up a two-shot advantage over Horne.

Branden Grace finished his second round bogey-bogey to slip out of the lead in the morning but then birdied the second, a hole where he has picked up four shots this week, to move to eight under.

Grace bogeyed the fourth to drop back but Stone, who had also birdied the second, was heading in the other direction as he sank a brilliant curling putt on the fifth to get to within two of the lead.

The 22 year old gave the shot straight back on the next and Grace made it-back-to-back bogeys on the fifth with the leader also falling victim to the toughest stretch of holes on the course as he dropped a shot on the same hole after finding trouble off the tee.

His lead was soon back to two shots as Horne dropped a first shot of the day on the sixth but that did not last long with Stone recovering well from a bunker to birdie the eighth.

And soon the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open champion was alongside the leader as he made a further gain on the ninth to turn in 33 courtesy of a lengthy putt which prompted a fist-pumping celebration.

His spell at the top was short-lived with Brooks and Horne both taking advantage of the par five eighth to pick up birdies but Stone would not relent and a fifth gain of the day at the 11th moved him back to ten under.

The players were then brought off the course and after a break of almost two hours, it was announced they would not return.

Swanepoel opened with a bogey but then picked up four shots in a row from the sixth before making another gain on the 13th to get to seven under alongside Bezuidenhout who had birdies on the fourth and 11th, the former via a brilliant chip-in.

Italian Renato Paratore was then at six under courtesy of an eagle and four birdies to just a single bogey in his 17 holes with the other three men in that group all from South Africa.

Jacques Kruyswijk was one under for the day through 11 with Justin Walters having played ten in level par and Jbe Kruger one over at the turn.

Former champion Richard Sterne was then in the group a further shot back, seven under for the day through ten, with Grace at four under having found the water on the tenth and 11th.

Frenchman Grégory Bourdy was alongside Sterne at five under and he held the clubhouse lead after a 68.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1STONE, BrandonRSA18-14
2BEZUIDENHOUT, ChristiaanRSA18-12
3BROOKS, DanielENG18-11
T4GOOSEN, RetiefRSA18-9
T4GRACE, BrandenRSA18-9
T4WALTERS, JustinRSA18-9

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