Saturday, April 11, 2015

 Ross Kellett tied seventh with a round to go in Kenya Open

One South African replaced another atop the Barclays Kenya Open leaderboard at the end of the third round at Karen Country Club, as Brandon Stone fired a five under par 67 to move to 14 under par in Nairobi.
He holds the narrowest advantage over compatriot, and overnight leader, Haydn Porteous, who showed great character in bouncing back from three consecutive bogeys to start his round on Saturday, to eventually sign for a level par 72.
Dutchman Daan Huizing and Sam Walker are in a tie for third, two strokes behind Stone, while the latter’s fellow Englishman, George Woolgar, and first round leader José-Felipe Lima of Portugal are also within striking distance at 11 under.
Ross Kellett (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) is the leading Scot, tied seventh on 206. four off the pace
Despite a dropped shot at the first hole, which he admitted was a disappointing start, Stone proved his potential by carding consecutive gains from the second to steady the ship. From there a series of pars followed, but when a third red number of the day followed at the drivable 12th, it opened the flood gates to further birdies at the 13th, 15th and par five last to establish his lead.
In his third season as a professional, the 21 year old admits to feeling much more settled into life in the paid ranks, and it showed on day three.
“That is the best round I have played in the last 18 months,” said Stone, who finished in a tie for tenth on his professional debut at the 2013 BMW International Open won by fellow South African Ernie Els. “I got off to a terrible start today, bogeying the first, but thankfully I managed to make a few birdies on the way in.
“This is just down to a lot of hard work during the South African co-sanctioned events, and I have been saying to people that I’ve been playing OK, just not scoring very well. It obviously looks like I have started to change that now though, so I am looking forward to tomorrow to see if I can keep it up.
"It has definitely taken me a little while to settle, and everyone needs time to adjust to the professional lifestyle with all the travelling that you do, but now I have been there and done that.
“I have been to Kenya before and got the experiences that I have needed, so now it is just about getting those numbers on the board. I’ve done that over the past three days, and now I just need one more solid round of golf.”
Last season saw Stone finish 80th in the season-long second tier Rankings, thanks to top ten finishes at both the Northern Ireland Open Challenge and the D+D REAL Czech Challenge, finishing fifth and tenth respectively.
The former amateur star started the season wanting to build on those results and take every advantage of his Challenge Tour opportunities, and what finer way to start the campaign for Stone than another South African win in Kenya.
“Starting the year I wanted to play a full season on the Challenge Tour and take advantage of every event that I got into,” he said. “I will take every opportunity that I can get, and this is that opportunity.
“I’m going to work really hard and do what I can to make sure I can get one of those 15 European Tour cards at the end of the year. Now, though, I just want to focus on getting in the right mind set, stay nice and relaxed, and shoot the lowest score possible tomorrow.
“If you look at the history of this event, the South Africans have always done well, and I think that is because we are used to the conditions, the heat, and we have plenty of similar courses back home.
“It might also be the case that the European players are coming here from their off season, whereas we are a little more tuned in to our games. That’s the way I see it now, I am playing great golf and I want to take this opportunity now that I have it.”
Porteous had led overnight after a second round 65, and while he could not match that form on day three, he is still in position to challenge for a maiden title of his own on Sunday thanks to four birdies on day three.
One stroke back is 2013 graduate Huizing, who signed for a 69 on Saturday despite only carding six pars. He will start the final day alongside three-time Challenge Tour winner Walker, who went bogey free for the second consecutive day en route to a 67.
Woolgar battled to a 69 despite stomach problems, as he looks to record the first top ten finish of his second tier career, and he will start the final round in a share of fifth with Lima, who was level for the day despite a double bogey at the par three seventh.
Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia and Ross Kellett of Scotland are both on ten under in a tie for seventh after rounds of 68, while the Swiss player Damian Ulrich is on his own in ninth place just five strokes adrift thanks to a 71.
Dismas Indiza Anyonyi is making the 16th appearance of his career in his national Open, and he continues to be the highest placed Kenyan in the field after a 70 saw him climb into a share of tenth.

par 216 (3x72)
202 B Stone (RSA) 69 66 67,
203 H Porteous (RSA) 66 65 72,
204 S Walker (Eng) 69 68 67, D Huizing (Ned) 67 68 69,
205 G Woolgar (Eng) 70 66 69, J Lima  (Por) 64 69 72,
206 R Kellett (Sco) 69 69 68, R Gouveia (Por) 70 68 68,
207 D Ulrich (Sui) 67 69 71,
208 J Makitalo  (Fin) 68 68 72, D Indiza Anyonyi (Ken) 69 69 70, M Søgaard  (Den) 70 71 67, A Marshall (Eng) 69 71 68, V Riu  (Fra) 69 67 72,
209 J Hansen  (Den) 70 72 67, S Manley (Wal) 70 69 70, S Heisele (Ger) 66 74 69, E Dubois (Fra) 73 68 68, J Winther (Den) 69 71 69, J Fahrbring (Swe) 68 73 68, D Law (Sco) 70 68 71, P Whiteford (Sco) 69 73 67, M Southgate  (Eng) 70 69 70, A Hartø  (Den) 68 70 71,
210 P Figueiredo  (Por) 73 68 69, L Nemecz (Aut) 70 69 71, J Carlota (Por) 68 72 70, C Bouniol (Fra) 68 67 75, J Legarrea (Esp) 69 69 72, D Frittelli (RSA) 71 67 72, E Cuartero Blanco  (Esp) 66 72 72, M Orrin (Eng) 71 68 71, J Stalter (Fra) 69 68 73,
211 L De Jager  (RSA) 69 67 75, G Boyd  (Eng) 72 70 69, M Rominger  (Sui) 71 69 71, S Echikson  (Bel) 70 72 69, P Widegren  (Swe) 70 69 72, C Hanson (Eng) 71 69 71, B Virto Astudillo (Esp) 69 68 74,
212 J Elson  (Eng) 70 70 72, J Senior (Eng) 70 69 73, S Brown (Eng) 68 72 72, N Quintarelli (Ita) 71 71 70, S Jeppesen  (Swe) 71 69 72, J Glennemo (Swe) 72 70 70, M Lafeber (Ned) 71 69 72, N Ravano (Ita) 71 70 71, R McGee (Irl) 69 69 74, P Howard  (Eng) 71 68 73,
213 C Berardo (Fra) 71 67 75, J Dantorp (Swe) 70 71 72, D Stewart (Sco) 71 70 72,
214 O Stark (Swe) 67 73 74, K Benz (Sui) 71 68 75, N Kearney (Irl) 72 70 72,
215 J McLeary  (Sco) 72 70 73, J Billing (Swe) 68 73 74, M Wiegele  (Aut) 75 67 73,
216 B Njoroge  (Ken) 74 68 74, S Griffiths (Eng) 70 71 75,
217 C Brazillier  (Fra) 70 72 75,
219 J Harrison (Eng) 69 72 78,
222 M Omondi (Ken) 71 71 80




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