Even though he was unable to replicate Thursday’s magic, Branden Grace was not unhappy with his efforts on Friday, writes WADE PRETORIUS at Glendower.
With eight European Tour wins to his name and a share of the first round lead, many would have been jumping to the conclusion that the player who ended the 10-year wait for a local winner at the Nedbank Golf Challenge would storm out to an unassailable lead on Friday.
Golf, of course, is never that simple.
— Compleat Golfer (@CompleatGolfer) January 12, 2018
Grace, who made three eagles in the first round, was left to get up and down from the sand on the eighth (his 17th hole) for his only birdie on the par 5s.
A bogey on the last forced the field’s top-ranked player to sign for a one-under-par-71 which saw him relinquish his lead to fellow South African Jacques Kruyswijk. Kruyswijk, the Cape Town Open holder and a recent European Tour Q School graduate, was in sublime form as he made seven birdies to shoot 67, one fewer than Thursday’s tally.
Grace, however, wasn’t downbeat despite Scott Vincent (Zimbabwe) joining him one behind Kruyswijk courtesy of a 66. Justin Walters wobbled down the stretch but leads the group on -6 with Charl Schwartzel and Erik Van Rooyen among those in the clubhouse on -5.
‘Yeah, it was a little frustrating out there,’ said Grace.
‘I didn’t really give myself any decent chances, I kept hitting it to 20-25 feet. On a day like yesterday, you know that was okay but you know, today was a day when it was going to hit the edges or just miss.
‘It was still decent. I’m still in it and I’m right where I want to be at this stage of the tournament. I might be a shot or two behind at the end of today but there’s still two rounds to go, so I’m still happy.’
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