Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

Chris Paisley holds slender lead ahead of South Africa Open final round

Chris Paisley holds slender lead ahead of South Africa Open final round

South Africa's leading golfer and current Nedbank Golf Challenge champion, Branden Grace, made sure Sunday will be one to savour after firing an impressive six-under-par 66 in the third round Saturday to be just off shot off the pace, set by England's Chris Paisley.

Koepka, whose brother Brooks won the US Open past year, had set the early clubhouse target after a round containing seven birdies, an eagle and two bogeys, with England's Chris Paisley a shot off the pace following a 66. After a first round featuring three eagles, Grace had to settle for a second-round 71. The only one I was really aggressive with was the second hole.

"I was a little bit rusty with some of the wedge shots but all in all very pleased with the outcome and I think I pretty much got the most out of that round".

English duo Andy Sullivan and Matt Wallace carded three-under 69s to move to five under for the championship while former Ryder Cup victor Jamie Donaldson, who carded the first ace of 2018, is a further two shots back after a one-under 71 which saw the Welshman mix five birdies with four bogeys.

"Starting off with a double in a tournament doesn't feel good; making that bogey I felt like I at least picked up a shot because it could have been worse". "I thought I hit the ball superbly through 13 holes, but just couldn't get it in the hole".

The pair had a one-stroke edge over Chris Paisley of England and two over Bradley Neil of Scotland, South Africa's Erik van Rooyen and Richard Sterne, and Spain's Nacho Elvira. He made another par on 12 and followed that up with yet another birdie on 13.

"I eagled the second and kind of kept it going from there".

The Els Club Copperleaf-based Blaauw has won four times on the Sunshine Tour but has only finished in the top three in Europe on one occasion, when he was the runner-up in the 2015 Tshwane Open after shooting a dazzling 61 in the final round.

The Frenchman was in new territory when he shared the 36-hole lead, never before having been in the top five at halfway on the European Tour. 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 tomorrow big time". If you're in the fairway the course is's second to none.

Grace, who is ranked 30 in the world, shares first place at seven under with American Chase Koepka, a brother of reigning US Open champion Brooks, who lies 306 places lower on the merit ladder.

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