Stone extends Leopard Creek lead

European Tour

Home hope Brandon Stone will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.

The 23-year-old shot a second successive 66 at Leopard Creek on Saturday to take his total to 17 under par.

That was three strokes clear of countrymen Charl Schwartzel (68), Keith Horne (67) and Chris Hanson (68), and a further two shots ahead of Frenchman Benjamin Hebert (68).

Scotland's David Drysdale (64) follows in sixth place, six shots back, while Pablo Larrazabal (69), Richard Sterne (68) and Bryce Easton (67) round out the top 10 on 10 under.

The day belonged to Stone, however, who picked up where he left on Friday with another quality round, flying out of the gate with four birdies in his opening six holes.

He would make two further gains immediately after the turn, before offsetting a bogey at the 12th with another birdie at the 13th.

He had to settle for five straight pars on the way home but that still resulted in a very handy three-stroke lead with 18 holes to play.

Stone has to be mindful of Schwartzel, however, his playing partner on the day, who has won this event no less than four times in the past.

"Charl is always good fun to play with – I really admire him. I really admire the way that he plays golf.

"I think he obviously likes this place and he obviously plays well here so I’m under no illusion. He’s going to come and fire and try to keep that trophy to himself. 

"I played some good golf the whole day. I holed some putts, hit some good shots, got a really, really lucky break on the last there but all of those missed putts for the last three days just cashed in there."

Schwartzel said: "I need to put myself in play more on the front nine. My putting is really beautiful and I just need to give myself more opportunities and I'm not doing that on the front nine.

"Hopefully tomorrow I can just play a little better from the beginning."

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