• Stone’s 66 the best of early Saffas

    Brandon Stone
    Stone was moving on up

    Brandon Stone fired a Saturday 66 to comfortably take the low round honours of the four South Africans languishing at the bottom of the WGC-Bridgestone leaderboard.

    Stone – together with Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel and Jaco Ahlers – found himself out early on Saturday and the recent Scottish Open winner made positive strides in round three.

    The young South African, who hit eight of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation, eagled the 2nd and added a birdie at the 5th but arrived at the 14th tee at just one under par for the day after drops at the 3rd and 11th.

    That fairly calm round was not an indication of the flurry to follow. On the par-four 14th, Stone’s 152-yard approach to seven feet set himself up for birdie as he moved to two under for the round. His next gain came on the 16th despite his tee shot rolling into the first cut on the left. Stone’s third from just shy of 100 yards settled three feet from the flag as he made no mistake with the putter to continue his climb.

    A perfect drive on the 17th left Stone just 76 yards to the pin as he converted from seven feet to get to four under and a round of 66 to sit at +1 for the event.

    Six further back is Schwartzel, whose round was derailed by a triple on the 16th and a closing bogey for a round of 74. One behind Schwartzel is Grace, who carded a 71 on Saturday.

    Grace hit seven of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation and, like Schwartzel, finished with a bogey.

    Ahlers continued to struggle with his arm injury as he signed for a 77 and sits one off the bottom.

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