Branden Grace knew there would always be chances for bogeys on Saturday, but he put his mistakes behind him and held on to a share of the lead after the third round of the Volvo Golf Champions at the Fancourt Links on Saturday.
On a day when only 10 of the 35-man field were under-par and there were two quadruple-bogeys and five triple-bogeys, Grace’s two-over-par 75 was actually a solid round and it left him on 10-under overall, tied with Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts for the lead.
Grace started badly with two bogeys on the first three holes and he also made two double-bogeys on the back nine, on the par-four 12th and par-three 17th holes. But he also picked up four birdies and he was satisfied with his efforts on a rainy, blustery day in the Southern Cape.
“I always knew there’d be mistakes on the card, but I still played really well because the conditions were really tough. I handled it well and made some good saves to limit the damage,” Grace said after his round.
“I actually thought it was very good golf on the first five holes, I just missed one shot, when I mis-hit an eight-iron. Otherwise, I striped my drive on the first and unluckily it bounced into the pot bunker.
“The same again on 12, it was a great drive but it just had a big bounce right on one of the slopes and it ended up in a pot bunker. It makes the hole very long because you can’t really hit the ball a long way then, you have to go sideways and it leaves you with a very long club in.
“On 17, I just went for it a little bit more than I should have, I hit it a bit too hard and I was over the back of the green, which you don’t want to play with,” Grace explained.
But the 23-year-old didn’t allow the mishap to get him down and he promptly birdied the last hole to ensure he will go into the final round with a fabulous chance of pulling off back-to-back victories after his breakthrough triumph in last weekend’s Joburg Open.
“I’m still happy, I’m still in there. I’ll take two-over today and I’ll just stick to my own game tomorrow,” Grace said.