Goosen sets chase as Paisley, Saddier lead SA Open


Joint first round leader Chase Koepka, of the United States of America, started with a bogey-five at his first hole of the day, the par-four 10th. "Now I've played myself right back into it and I'm really excited going into Sunday".

Branden Grace scored three eagles in a seven-under-par 65 for a share of the lead after the South African Open's first round. Turning in three under for the round, the local claimed five birdies within six holes during the inward half to leap into contention for first prize. "Having the record is quite cool".

Paisley was indebted to an up-and-down par save at the par-four 18th to finish 15 under and maintain his overnight lead, but may rue a level-par back nine which allowed the chasing pack to close the gap on the Englishman at Glendower Golf Club. He wound up with a quadruple-bogey 8, and even a pitch from the rough short of the ninth green that stopped inches away for birdie wasn't enough to appease him. And then I finally did get one on 11 and I just let the adrenaline run and it led to more birdies. "I made a par on two which feels like a bogey and made a bogey on five which was awful, too".

"It was pretty frustrating and I got a bit irritated because I thought I hit the ball superbly but I just couldn't get the ball in the hole".

Defending champion Graeme Storm of England, who pipped golf superstar Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in a play-off previous year to win the second oldest national championship after the British Open, carded a 75.

Young South African Jacques Kruyswijk is their nearest challenger on nine-under-par after a 67 in what is his rookie season on the European Tour.

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After four front-nine birdies, he picked up three more during the inward trek but also bogeyed a couple of holes.

Retief Goosen, a two-time US Open victor, faltered at the last on Friday with a double-bogey six and lost further ground on the field with a one-over 73 to finish at seven under heading into the final round, while Ernie Els carded a two-under 70 to sit 10 shots off the lead at five under.

He also threw in three birdies and two bogeys to match U.S. open champion Brooks Koepka's younger brother Chase Koepka.

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.

Former Major title-holders Charl Schwartzel (139) and Ernie Els (141) of South Africa made the cut for the final two rounds.