Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Nedbank Golf Challenge: Scott Jamieson beaten by Branden Grace by one

Highlights from the opening round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa Highlights from the opening round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa
Garry Little | 13 November, 2017, 02:00

It was the first time since Trevor Immelman in 2007 that this event saw a home victor.

"I was much better on the greens today than I had been the first couple days, so that was nice", said Jamieson.

On the front nine he made four birdies, but also four bogeys and three double bogeys, something he admitted after his round he would have to get right if he is to seriously challenge for the title on Sunday afternoon.

South Africa's Haydn Porteous posted a five-under 67 to be at three-under, while Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood hit back after a hard first two days to also post a 67.

Jamieson went into the third day of the $7.5 million event sharing fourth place and three shots adrift of Dubuisson but found himself tied for the lead courtesy of birdies at the second, fourth and ninth holes of the Gary Player-designed course. The Scot won the rain-shortened Nelson Mandela Championship in 2012. "I'm very excited to be in this position. hopefully it's third time lucky for me".

As his nearest challenger, Dubuisson will also like his chances.

It was a frustrating finish for Ramsay as he took 6 at the last to miss out on his second top ten in a Rolex Series event this year.

The Esker Hills man managed to steady the ship and made par on the remaining holes to sign for his second level par round of the week, leaving him at one under par for the tournament.

Grace was outstanding off the tee, never getting into trouble, and he was deadly with his approaches, hitting all 18 greens in regulation. I think it's because I've played the course very conservatively. You know, it's a course where you can't make more than bogey. "Majority were good putts; the one on 16 was special". It's Africa's Major for a reason and what a special place it is.

Having once again come out on top of another star-studded field, Grace will hope for more good things at the tour finale in Dubai later this week, and in the Majors next year.

Jamieson will be joined in that event by 29th-ranked Richie Ramsay and David Drysdale (54th), with Marc Warren agonisingly missing out by one spot after he slipped to 63rd following a disappointing finish in South Africa.

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