Great Grillo takes Africa Open lead

Emiliano Grillo overcame the gusty conditions at East London Golf Club on Saturday and shot a third-round 62 to claim a two-shot lead at the Africa Open Golf Challenge.

 

“It was a good round of golf. I played well, but it was the putting that helped the most and I made some good ones on the back nine that kept my round going. I didn’t hit it as close as I would have liked for nine-under, but I made putts from all over,” he said.

 

The Argentinian finished second in the Omega Dubai Desert Masters a fortnight ago and continued to impress as he made it to a 20-under-par total on Saturday and stretched out a two-shot cushion between himself and second-placed Oliver Fisher.

 

“I thought I had it for a moment in Dubai,” said Grillo. “Stephen (Gallacher) played great on the last few holes, so he got the trophy and I got second place, but it felt like a win for me. That week has given me a lt of confidence going into the season.”

 

The world number 149 carded and outward nine of 31 shots and left overnight leader John Hahn behind.

 

“It’s definitely more difficult than the past two days,” said Grillo. “The wind picked up and it was a little different direction to what we have seen, but I played good enough to not care about the wind today. Hopefully we will have similar conditions tomorrow.”

 

Fisher’s scoring was hampered by a few bad swings, but he managed to score where it counted and strung together a third-round 66 to take up sole second on 18-under.

 

“You had to be aware of where you were placing your ball with this wind, but it was good fun out there. I hit a few poor shots, but I’m delighted with the way I finished and pleased with my score for today. I’m two behind and it’s the sort of course where guys can come from a long way back,” he said.

 

A chasing pack of Hahn, Thomas Aiken, and Richard Bland made it to the 54-hole mark in a share of third on 16-under, four shots behind the Argentinian leader.

 

“I had it going nicely and played very solidly the whole day,” said Aiken. “I hit some great shots coming home, so there were some satisfying birdies. I was disappointed with the bogey on the last, but maybe I got it out of the way and I won’t have one of those tomorrow. Four shots on this course can change very quickly.”

 

Grillo is now in his third year on the European Tour and looked forward to leading the final round at the 2014 Africa Open.

 

“You never know around here, because there are so many scoring holes. When you start making a couple of pars in a row you get impatient, so the key around here is waiting for the birdies. I played good for the whole round and I am quite happy with my game, so hopefully I can repeat it tomorrow,” he said.

 

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