Sunday, 10 January 2016
Brandon Stone  (Getty Images)
Brandon Stone (Getty Images)

Brandon Stone put himself on course for a first European Tour win as he enjoyed a brilliant morning at The BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni.

The tournament had been disrupted by storms on the first three days and home favourite Stone held a share of the lead with Englishman Daniel Brooks as the pair returned to complete their third rounds on Sunday morning.

Brooks, who has a European Tour win to his name at the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI in 2014, picked up a birdie on the 13th to get to 11 under but he could not keep pace with Stone who had gains on the 12th, 13th and 16th to take a two-shot lead after 54 holes.

There was a turnaround of less than an hour before the start of round four but that proved no problem for Stone who extended his lead to four shots as he picked up one in his first five holes.

Brooks was playing two groups behind Stone as there was no re-draw and a bogey on the second left him at ten under, one over for his first three holes.

A win for Stone would complete a stunning few months for the 22 year old who has long been regarded as a major prospect in his homeland.

A sixth-placed finish at the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final in early November saw him finish 14th on The Challenge Tour to secure his playing privileges and just two weeks later he claimed a maiden Sunshine Tour victory at the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open.

He then finished in a share of 18th at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in his first event as a full Member of The European Tour and a win at Glendower Golf Club would give him victory in his 27th event overall.

After a par on the first, Stone rolled in a six-footer to get up-and-down for birdie on the second before another birdie followed after an excellent tee shot and approach to six feet on the fourth.

An errant tee shot then led to a bogey on the fifth, which is playing as the hardest hole of the week, as he dropped back to 14 under.

Brooks had also parred the first but put his tee shot left on the second to drop a shot before holing a gutsy eight-footer to hold on to second spot at the third.

South African Keith Horne was playing alongside Brooks and he birdied the second to sit a further shot back, one ahead of countrymen Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Zander Lombard.

Bezuidenhout had also made a birdie on the second to be one under through four holes while Lombard had three birdies and a bogey in his first 11.

World Number 14 Branden Grace was then level par for the day at seven under after four holes alongside Justin Walters who was one over after a double bogey on the third.

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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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