A bogey at the last aside, Branden Grace enjoyed a fine day, making the most of good scoring conditions at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
Home favourite Grace moved himself into contention for a run at the NGC with a 68 at Sun City on Saturday. He is only three behind leader Scott Jamieson after 54 holes.
After an indifferent start to his round, which included a par at the second hole and a bogey at the fifth, Grace once again turned it on and got back into contention at the lucrative Rolex Series event.
A birdie at the sixth hole – where he dropped two shots yesterday – got him back to level for the day, and from there he went chasing pins as he found his rhythm. With a birdie on the eighth, he made it an eight-shot swing over the 4th, 6th and 8th from yesterday’s performance.
Despite settling for a par on the 9th, Grace continued to climb with birdies at 10 and 11. The Fancourt professional then found another level with birdies at the 14th and another at the 15th as he moved to within touching distance of Scott Jamieson, who had seized control after a slow day for Victor Dubuisson.
A wayward tee shot on the last meant it was always going to be a tough task to save par, but he gave himself a great chance with a well-played third that just found the fringe.
The groans from the grandstands echoed around the 18th as his putt barely touched the low side of the cup; his first bogey on the back nine all week and a 68 instead of the 67 he so deserved.
What Grace’s Saturday performance does mean, with a crowded leaderboard filled with international quality, is that he is firmly in contention, and can expect a large following in the galleries on Sunday as he bids to end 10 years of foreign domination of Africa’s Major.
At the top, Scott Jamieson fired a brilliant bogey-free 67 to take a one-shot lead over Victor Dubuisson into the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.
The Scotsman’s only previous European Tour win came in South Africa at the 2013 Nelson Mandela Championship, but he will be going in search of Rolex Series glory on Sunday.
Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images
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