Brandon Stone kept bogeys off the card during his second round at Genzon Golf Club and was rewarded with a share of third place midway through the Shenzhen International.
The 23-year-old started not he 10th and played regulation golf until the par-five 17th, where he made eagle to go two-under for the round. He held that score all the way to the clubhouse, which put him at seven-under-par for the tournament after 36 holes.
Bad weather forced several suspensions in play and the courses received a lot of rain, but Stone believed the course held up despite the conditions.
‘It’s very soft and accessible. The greens are rolling true, but it’s vital to make fairways because you’ll get a lot of mud balls if you go venturing off side to side. It’s still a true test and rewarding us for the good shots,’ he said.
In January Stone won the SA Open and cemented his place on the European Tour, but he’ll be keen to win again.
He heads into the weekend six shots behind halfway leader Soomin Lee, who shot rounds of 66 and 65 for a 13-under-par total.
‘To be third is a good sign and gives me an opportunity to compete this weekend,’ said Stone. ‘That said, 13-under-par doesn’t feel that far away and the putter was really ice cold compared to how well I’ve hit it these last two days.’
There is plenty of golf still to play and Stone has positioned himself to contend over the weekend. Saturday is the time to move and he’ll be keen to close down the gap between himself and the top of the leaderboard.
‘To walk off two-under-par is not bad, but hopefully I’m saving some more for the weekend,’ he said.
His Friday round was a grind, but proved that he can score well even when he’s not firing on all cylinders, which is a crucial element in winning championships.