Saturday, January 14, 2017

Graeme Storm leads by three with a round to

go in South Africa
Graeme Storm will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the BMW SA Open tomorrow as he goes in search of a first European Tour title in ten years at Glendower Golf Club.
The Englishman extended his bogey-free run to 41 holes with a 67 that moved him to 17 under and gave him a healthy gap to World Number Two Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy twice caught Storm at the top of the leaderboard in round three with the help of an eagle from 157 yards on the seventh and a hat-trick of birdies on the back nine but the 38 year old put in a wonderfully disciplined and consistent performance.
While all those around him were making strings of birdies and eagles along with some dropped shots, Storm went out in 33 and came back in 34 with five birdies to extend his second-round advantage by one shot.
It is quite the turnaround for Storm who thought he had lost his playing privileges by just 100 euros at the Portugal Masters when he missed a par putt on the 18th green.
Patrick Reed's decision not to play the Final Series handed Storm a reprieve and he is now in pole position to claim a second European Tour title after winning the Open de France ALSTOM in 2007.
McIlroy may have something to say about that, however, and with the Northern Irishman having made 12 birdies on the back nine this week, an intriguing battle down the stretch could be in store on Sunday.
"I am just really pleased that I kept the momentum from yesterday and played really nicely and holed some good putts," said Storm.

"I find myself now in a position that I have only been in a couple of times over the past few years. Things have been difficult and last year was a tough year but it has given me a new lease of life and I hope to continue playing well.

"I thought I had lost my card and all of the privileges that come from playing on the European Tour and when that happens you realise that you can't afford to lose it."

He added: "I have never played with Rory before and I know him really well so it will be a lot of fun.

"If he hits a good shot and pips me or beats me comfortably or whoever makes a move from behind I can't really control that. All I can do is control my golf ball – I can't control anyone else's.

"If I can shoot another score in the 60s I'll be pleased even if I don't win. I have come here as a big underdog so that is fine with me."
Last season's Challenge Tour number one Jordan L Smith will complete an exciting final group after finishing the day on 13 under alongside home favourite Jbe Kruger.

Italy's Edoardo Molinari equalled the course record with a 63 to get to 12 under alongside South African duo Dean Burmester and Jaco Van Zyl, French pair Romain Langasque and Joël Stalter, and American Peter Uihlein.
Storm began the day with a two-shot lead and while he followed McIlroy in making a birdie on the second, the four-time Major Championship winner produced a moment of absolute magic on the seventh.

The 27 year old launched an approach that pitched ten feet behind the hole and spun back down the slope for an eagle.

When he took advantage of the par five eighth he had a share of the lead but Storm put his approach to the seventh close and then capitalised on the par five himself to move back ahead.

A McIlroy bogey dropped him three behind but he played a smart approach to the 11th, drove the 12th and then made the most of the par five 13th to get back into a tie.

Storm laid up on the 13th but still made a tidy birdie and made it four out of four on the par fives on the 15th before McIlroy dropped a shot on the last.
Smith was quietly going about his business with birdies on the second, eighth and ninth but he drove the 12th with a two-iron and holed the lengthy putt for an eagle, adding another birdie on the 15th before stalling with a bogey-bogey finish.

Kruger looked to be fading from contention as he turned in 37 with those around him picking up shots but he made five birdies in six holes from the tenth before dropping a shot on the 16th.

Molinari recorded nine birdies in his 63 - including five in a row from the 11th - while Stalter signed for a 65, Burmester a 67, Van Zyl and Langasque a pair of 68s and Uihlein a 70.

David Drysdale lost ground with a one-under 71 for a 54-hole tally of 208 and a share of 16th place.
The Dunbar man had an eagle 3 at the eighth for the second day in a row but bogeys at the fourth, 11th and 17th dragged him down. He did have birdies at t4he long second and 13th in halves of 34 and 37.

Par 216 (3x72)
199 Graeme Storm (England) 69 63 67
202 Rory McIlroy (N Ireland) 67 68 67
203 Jbe Kruger (S Africa) 67 67 69, Jordan L Smith (England) 67 68 68

208 David Drysdale 70 65 71 (T16)

MISSED THE CUT (144 and worse failed to qualify)
145 Scott Henry  79 66
150 Craig Ross (am) 79 71
155 Duncan Stewart 78 77


199 G Storm  (Eng) 69 63 67,
202 R McIlroy  (Nir) 67 68 67,
203 J Kruger (RSA) 67 67 69, J Smith (Eng) 67 68 68,
204 R Langasque  (Fra) 70 66 68, E Molinari  (Ita) 71 70 63, J Van Zyl (RSA) 71 65 68, J Stalter (Fra) 69 70 65, P Uihlein  (USA) 70 64 70, D Burmester (RSA) 67 70 67,
205 R Johnson (Swe) 69 70 66, T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 66 68 71, T Aiken (RSA) 67 70 68, M Korhonen (Fin) 72 66 67, K Horne (RSA) 66 69 70,
206 L Canter (Eng) 69 66 71, C Hanson (Eng) 71 69 66, D Drysdale (Sco) 70 65 71,
207 G King (Eng) 73 68 66, P Widegren  (Swe) 72 67 68, A Björk (Swe) 68 71 68, O Fisher  (Eng) 68 69 70,
208 J Morrison  (Eng) 70 72 66, L De Jager  (RSA) 77 64 67, J Walters (RSA) 69 72 67, D Van Der Walt (RSA) 71 67 70,
209 S Norris  (RSA) 69 69 71, J Blaauw  (RSA) 72 70 67, J Winther (Den) 69 70 70,
210 D Fichardt (RSA) 68 72 70, A Otaegui  (Esp) 71 69 70, R Van Der Spuy (RSA) 72 70 68, J Agren (Swe) 73 69 68, J Fahrbring (Swe) 68 71 71, L Bjerregaard  (Den) 72 71 67, D Brooks (Eng) 69 71 70, J Kingston (RSA) 72 71 67,
211 S Soderberg (Swe) 69 72 70, A Knappe (Ger) 71 71 69, S Dyson  (Eng) 69 71 71, M Foster (Eng) 68 70 73, C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 70 70 71,
212 T Detry  (Bel) 72 71 69, T Moore (RSA) 70 73 69, T Lewis (Eng) 72 71 69, J Kruyswijk (RSA) 73 69 70, U Van Den Berg  (RSA) 69 70 73, A Da Silva (Bra) 73 69 70, B Stone (RSA) 74 67 71, R Echenique (Arg) 73 70 69,
213 S Engell Andersen  (Ken) 72 71 70, P Angles  (Esp) 72 71 70, R McGowan  (Eng) 72 71 70, J Parry (Eng) 74 67 72,
214 P Waring  (Eng) 70 70 74, D Van Tonder  (RSA) 73 69 72, S Tiley (Eng) 69 72 73, J Harding  (RSA) 70 70 74, M Hollick (RSA) 70 71 73,
215 J Kamte (RSA) 70 68 77, G Mulroy (RSA) 71 71 73, O Strydom (RSA) 72 70 73, M Madsen (Den) 75 68 72,
216 E Kofstad (Nor) 73 67 76, P Maddy (Eng) 71 69 76,
217 N Fasth (Swe) 70 73 74,
221 A Georgiou (RSA) 72 71 78,
** B Rumford (Aus) 69 68 WD,




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