Stone lines up shot at Joburg Open title with Saturday 64

Nov 21, 2020 | Featured, Sunshine Tour

Brandon Stone took a giant step closer on Saturday to his desire to win each of the tournaments co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour as he carded a seven-under-par 64 in the third round of the Joburg Open at Randpark Golf Club.

He made an eagle, six birdies and a bogey on his charge up the leaderboard into a share of third, finishing on 11-under for the tournament and within striking distance of the top spot which was held by his countryman, the young rookie Wilco Nienaber who led at 16-under. Sweden’s Joachim B Hansen was in third on 15-under.

“I really would like to win this,” said Stone, who has already got his name on the South African Open Championship and Alfred Dunhill Championship trophies. “And I need to just go out tomorrow with the same attitude I have every round: Count the shots, and if they’re less than the next guy, then good.

“And if I feel after a round that I have got the best score possible on the day, then I’m happy.”

It was a day on which the rain came and went, so that Stone was so consistent was impressive. “It came and went in 10-minute waves, really,” he said. “So it was dry for 10 minutes, light rain for 10 minutes, then heavy rain for 10 minutes. But, to be fair, I got the best of the conditions.”

It didn’t seem that way when he started with a bogey on the third hole. “It was a three-putt bogey, there, and that got the juices going,” he said. “To follow that with the eagle on four was good, and I settled down into my work nicely after that.”

Part of that work involves keeping up with the long hitters around him, and he doesn’t feel intimidated by the fact that Nienaber is averaging over 400 yards off the tee for this tournament at high altitude. “I’m pretty long too,” he says laconically.

With his experience in the final group on Sunday – he’ll be playing with Nienaber and Hansen who are seeking their maiden European Tour titles – he could be in prime position to push for the win he wants so badly.

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