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Bolognesi gets a gap at SA Stroke Play

09 Feb 2012

Andrea Bolognesi has taken a one shot lead at the midway point in the third round  of the South African Stroke Play Championship

For two days impressive shot making put Brandon Stone in the driver’s seat at this week’s South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship. But - for the moment - it’s Italian Andrea Bolognesi who has surged ahead and tops the midway leaderboard at nine under par.

Although Bolognesi did some hard work to reduce the gap with four birdies in his outward nine, the Italian has taken the lead at nine under after Stone squandered his five shot advantage with a bogey and triple bogey at the eighth and ninth.

Bolognesi sealed his outward loop with back-to-back birdies at eight and nine and will start the trip back to the clubhouse with a one shot edge on Stone. He has a two stroke lead on Haydn Porteous, who quietly climbed to seven under with his own brace of birdies at the eighth and ninth.

Ironically, these were the same two holes that caused Stone a whole lot of grief.

When Stone teed off this morning after a 90 minute delay due to thunderstorms, he looked for the world to be the man to beat.

Birdies at two and five took Stone to 12 under, but an unlucky lie after a decent tee shot at the eighth was the start of his woes.

Having to hit his second at the par-five from an awkward stance with both feet in the fairway bunker but the ball level with his knees, Stone had to execute a baseball style shot to get a measure down the fairway. He played a poor approach shot, catching the greenside trap and faced a plugged lie.

He scooped it out to 10-feet and two-putted for bogey.

Perhaps trying to put the drop behind him or still fuming about a bogey at a obvious birdie hole, Stone’s tee shot at nine went left into the trees.

His second clipped a tree and ricochet into the hazard short right of the green. Stone took a drop, but his shot into the green took one bounce, hit the pin and spun back into the hazard. He had to drop from the same spot but this time hit it to three feet and sank the putt for a triple.

Meanwhile Soweto Country’s Club’s Musiwalo Nethunzi, with two birdies, leads the pack at four under, including England’s Toby Tree and South Africans Jacques Kruiswijk and Desne van den Bergh.

Kruyswijk was certainly the most impressive among the current top 20, following an eagle-three at the second with three successive birdies after a lone drop at the sixth.

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