Golf | 13 Jan 2018 | By Michael Vlismas
Branden Grace gunning for glory in BMW SA Open
| Photo by Luke Walker/Sunshine Tour
Branden Grace has kept South African hopes alive and will head into the final round of the BMW South African Open only one shot behind leader Chris Paisley of England.
Paisley was threatening to run away with the third round as he climbed to 15 under par with a 70 and largely unchallenged early in the round.
But after turning in one under for his round, Grace finally found his putting touch and came home with five birdies for a 66 and a tournament total of 14 under.
“I got frustrated out there to be quite honest. I thought I hit the ball superbly through 13 holes, but just couldn’t get it in the hole. I think the putting stroke was a little bit quick and I pushed and pulled a few. It’s called moving day for a reason, and sometimes you push too hard and sometimes it doesn’t happen. But I got it going,” Grace said of his turnaround on the back nine.
Grace is hunting his second big title in just over a month after winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.
And he’s clearly relishing the opportunity.
“I’m looking forward to it big time. Through 13 holes in my third round here, I think I was five or six behind. I told myself to stay positive. I was four or five behind going into the last day at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, so I thought if I could get the margin pretty small, I could still have a chance. Now I’ve played myself right back into it and I’m really excited going into the final round.”
The South African is also banking on having the local support firmly in his corner.
“You feed off that. When a putt goes in, they go nuts and you desperately want to make the next one for an even bigger cheer. It will be a big advantage to have that support.”
South Africa’s Jacques Blaauw, American Chase Koepka and Frenchman Adrien Saddier will start the final round at 12 under.