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Strong finish propels Grace into SA Open contention

51   //    13 Jan 2018, 21:59 IST
grace - CROPPED
South Africa's Branden Grace.

Branden Grace finished strongly on day three of the SA Open to head into the final round trailing leader Chris Paisley by just one shot.

The South African posted five birdies on the back nine to sign for 66 and go 14 under for the tournament, as Adrien Saddier - who held a share of the overnight lead with Paisley - faltered.

Saddier's 63 on Friday set a new course record, but the Frenchman took 10 more shots to complete his round on Saturday, leaving him three adrift of Paisley.

The Englishman maintained a narrow lead despite dropping his first shot of the round at the 16th, having registered three birdies up to that point, and remains well placed to claim his maiden European Tour title on Sunday. 


But it is Grace who will carry the momentum into the final day following his blistering finish, while compatriot Jacques Blaauw matched the highest-ranked player in the tournament on six-under for the day to take a share of third with Saddier and Chase Koepka.

Another South African, Darren Fichardt, produced Saturday's best round, going eight under to sit sixth. Tournament host Ernie Els is five under for the week.

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