Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Perfect Paisley earns maiden European Tour win in South Africa

Perfect Paisley earns maiden European Tour win in South Africa Perfect Paisley earns maiden European Tour win in South Africa
Kristopher Love | 14 January, 2018, 19:54

With his wife Keri on the bag, England's Chris Paisley picked up the biggest cheque of his career at Glendower Country Club on Sunday when he won the 107th edition of the BMW SA Open.

South African JC Ritchie (65) finished third after a colorful final round that included two eagles, six birdies and three bogeys to leave him at 16 under par.

Among four contenders lying one shot further back were the first round leaders, Branden Grace of South Africa and Chase Koepka of the United States.

English duo Andy Sullivan and Matt Wallace carded three-under 69s to move to five under for the championship while former Ryder Cup victor Jamie Donaldson, who carded the first ace of 2018, is a further two shots back after a one-under 71 which saw the Welshman mix five birdies with four bogeys.

Saddier matched the course record with seven birdies and an eagle.

"On all the par-fives, I pretty much hit great tee shots and really gave myself some chances". "Having the record is quite cool".

"But then Zack [Rasego] said I must just stay patient and my wife was on the side of the course and she said one will go in soon".

Paisley, whose best finish in a European Tour event is third, only dropped one shot in his round.

"At the moment it's weird, I feel like I didn't play unbelievable". "I drove the ball really well and I felt like I actually played better than yesterday - just didn't really hole the putts".

With two rounds left, Paisley is hoping the trend of English champions in this championship works in his favour as well.

Compatriot Graeme Storm won the tournament a year ago after a play-off with superstar Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, but failed by one shot to make the halfway cut Friday.

"I think I played flawless except for the second shot to the first hole", Koepka said.

Young South African Jacques Kruyswijk is their nearest challenger on nine under par after a 67 and in what is his rookie season on the European Tour.

Grace's front nine was not impressive by his lofty standards as he only managed to make a pair of birdies and an unwanted bogey on the ninth hole.

Koepka, the brother of PGA Tour campaigner and US Open champion Brooks Koepka, was delighted with his round after he opened with a bogey.

Grace, seeking back-to-back European Tour triumphs in South Africa, also came a cropper at the final hole, dropping a shot to post a 71.