Paisley clings to SA Open lead ahead of Grace

Paisley clings to SA Open lead ahead of Grace

Paisley clings to SA Open lead ahead of Grace

Grace, an eight-time European Tour victor, started with a birdie and an eagle and held the lead briefly before his challenge faded after a double-bogey on No. 6 and a bogey on No. 12.

Saddier and former Tennessee player Paisley have never won on the European Tour, but the omens might just be in the Paisley's favor. "I hit it well, so I was able to come out and be aggressive off the tee, and if I can get that going, I can keep it up the whole day", he said.

"The finish was awesome after making three birdies in a row on 15, 16 and 17", said Saddier.

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

Paisley went into the final round with a one-shot lead and he showed no signs of nerves in a superb final round. It was just the second hole of the day, and I had something like 244 to the flag into the wind.

Compatriot Graeme Storm won the tournament previous year after a play-off with superstar Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, but failed by one shot to make the halfway cut Friday.

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

"I played good", he said, "But like I said, the guy that was going to win today was the guy that played the best he certainly played the best golf today".

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Nearest challenger Kruyswijk, 25, another young golfer eyeing a first European Tour triumph, carded a 67 following a mixed round.

A far more settled back nine produced a birdie and another eagle, a record third for Grace during a European Tour round.

Yet a double-bogey on the sixth for Grace restored the lead for the Englishman, who held on to his advantage with birdies at regular intervals.

Grace, seeking back-to-back European Tour triumphs in South Africa, also came a cropper at the final hole, dropping a shot to post a 71.

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.

Five-time European Tour victor Darren Fichardt of South Africa is alone in sixth on 205 after a 64, the lowest score of the day, and bettered only by Saddier this week.

But ex-US Masters champions Mike Weir (146) of Canada and Trevor Immelman (149) of South Africa bowed out after the second round.

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