Five Share Lead at South African Masters
Mark Murless finished at 12-under 198 while current Sunshine Tour Order of Merit leader Tim Clark is two shots further back at 10-under.
Sterne, who's best finish this season was second at the Graceland Challenge, carded his third straight round in the 60s. The 20-year-old used three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 16th to join the others atop the leaderboard.
'I'm just having a lot of fun out there,' he said. 'I missed a few makeable putts for birdie. But I'm not going to cry over spilled milk.'
The former South African Amateur champion, who turned pro only seven months ago, has posted six top-10 finishes in the 19 tournaments he has played on the Southern Africa Tour.
Kingston, who fired a 9-under 61 in the second round, had five birdies on the Wild Coast course Saturday but was dealt with some trouble with bogeys on the fifth and 15th for a round of 67.
'I started making mistakes on the back nine and got frustrated, especially after being in such a good position,' said Kingston, who hit an errant driver into the water at 16. 'It felt like I was making a mistake on every hole.'
Moore, the leader after round one, began the day with back-to-back birdies from the second. The 1996 South African Amateur Champion then bogeyed the par-three sixth before adding three more birdies for a round of 66.
Drummond was tied with Retief Goosen after three rounds of the Dimension Data Pro-Am last week before relinquishing the lead to the U.S. Open winner.
The Scot torched the front nine of the Wild Coast course Saturday with five birdies. However, the 27-year-old bogeyed three of the first five holes on the back nine.
Rose, currently third on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit behind Clark and Goosen, had seven birdies and two bogeys for a 65.
'It's set up for a terrific finish,' said the Dunhill Championship winner. 'The guy who putts best is going to win.'
Full-field scores from the Nashua Masters
'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.
Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.
“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”
Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.
The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.
“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”
Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.
“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”
Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.
“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.
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Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.
“I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.
Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.
Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.
“I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.
“When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”
It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.
“A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.
“I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”
This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.