SA Open 2016
Round 4 - Brandon Stone claims maiden European Tour title
January 11, 2016
Brandon Stone won the South African Open on Sunday for his maiden European Tour title, becoming the youngest player to win the event since it joined the tour schedule in 1997.
The 22-year-old South African finished with a roller-coaster round of 71 that had seven birdies and also six bogeys, but it was still enough for a two-shot win over fellow home player Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
Stone finished 14 under par at Glendower Golf Club in a tournament that was interrupted by stormy weather, forcing the first three rounds to be suspended and carried over to the following day.
Stone was in tears after completing victory at golf's second oldest national open after the British Open. He held a five-shot lead at one point but had to fight in the end to hold off Bezuidenhout's late charge.
Bezuidenhout finished with a superb 5-under 67 to nearly steal victory at the end.
Englishman Daniel Brooks, who was tied for the lead with Stone when the third round was suspended on Saturday, closed with a 72 to finish 11 under and three shots behind Stone in third. Brooks held a two-shot lead with nine holes to play, but couldn't keep that momentum.
Stone only claimed his first professional victory late last year on the South African Sunshine Tour.
He appeared to have blown his chances at Glendower with a run of three straight bogeys and four dropped shots in five holes approaching the turn on Sunday. He shrugged that off to collect four birdies in five holes from No. 12 and finished par-par to win.
The tears began to flow for Stone on the green at No. 18 when he put his third shot close, pretty much guaranteeing him victory. He rolled in the par putt and had to wait for the last few players to come home. No one had a realistic chance of catching him.
Retief Goosen finished in a four-way tie for fourth on 9 under alongside Branden Grace, Justin Walters and Keith Horne.
Round 3 - Brandon Stone and Daniel Brooks lead storm hit event
January 10, 2016
South Africa's Brandon Stone and Daniel Brooks of England shared the lead at the lightning-plagued SA Open on Saturday when only three players managed to complete their third rounds.
Both men were locked at 10 under for the tournament at the Glendower Golf Club when play was halted for the third consecutive day.
Brooks had been one of 78 players who had to return early on Saturday morning to complete their second rounds and he had opened up a one-shot midway lead with six birdies in his last 11 holes moving him to nine under par.
The Englishman also picked up a shot on the front nine in his third round but Stone reeled him in at ten under with five birdies in his 11 holes before the players were brought off due to the threat of lightning.
South African Keith Horne was two shots off the pace and on the ninth hole at eight under.
Brooks is used to winning in rough weather, having won his only European Tour title at the Madeira Islands Open in 2014, which was reduced to 36 holes.
Stone, 22, has two top tens in 27 appearances on The European Tour and won a maiden Sunshine Tour event in November.
Four-time major winner and tournament host Ernie Els missed the cut by one shot.
Defending champion Andy Sullivan was also packing his bags after rounds of 75 and 72.
Round 2 - Branden Grace joins lead before storm hits
January 9, 2016
Branden Grace's charge up the leaderboard at the SA Open was halted by stormy weather Friday, with play abandoned midway through the second round.
The South African was tied for the lead with countryman Keith Horne at 8 under, after going through 11 holes in 5 under, when play was called off for the day at Glendower Golf Club because of the threat of lightning.
Horne held the clubhouse lead after shooting a 3-under 69 to follow up his first-round 67.
Eleven of the leading 13 players are from South Africa, which has delivered 12 winners in 19 editions of the event since it joined the European Tour in 1997.
Jbe Kruger is a shot behind after a 70. Justin Walters (70), Brandon Stone (67) and Ross McGowan (70) were at 6-under 138 after two rounds.
Play also ended early on Thursday because of similar bad weather, meaning 33 people had to return early Friday to complete their first round. Seventy-eight of the remaining 154 players are yet to finish their second rounds.
Grace is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 14 and has won three of his six European Tour titles in his native country. He sank birdie putts from Nos. 2-5 and also picked up shots at Nos. 10 and 11.
Playing alongside Grace, Jaco van Zyl was the first-round leader after a 65 but he bogeyed three of the first nine holes in his second round before a double-bogey at No. 10, after finding the water, dropped him to 3 under. He still had seven holes to play.
It was even worse for Shaun Norris, who was a shot behind Van Zyl after the first round. Norris dropped 11 shots in 12 holes Friday, leaving him on 5 over and likely to miss the cut.
Round 1 - Jaco van Zyl leads with opening 65
January 8, 2016
Jaco van Zyl shot a 7-under 65 Thursday to top a South African-dominated leaderboard in the first round of the SA Open, the European Tour's first event of 2016.
Van Zyl maintained the form that put him in ties for eighth and 13th at the season-opening Alfred Dunhill Championship and Nedbank Golf Challenge before Christmas, hitting six birdies and an eagle.
It was the 36-year-old Van Zyl's first round of golf without the assistance of knee braces since he underwent surgery to both knees in March 2014.
Shaun Norris was alone in second place after a 66, and Jbe Kruger and Keith Horne were tied for third at 5 under at Glendower Golf Club as South Africans filled the top four places. Two more were in a six-way tie at 4 under - Justin Walters and 2006 winner Retief Goosen - on a low-scoring day when the rough was less penal after a recent drought and heatwave.
Defending champion Andy Sullivan of England shot 3 over and was 10 strokes off the pace.
Play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning, with 33 players still to finish their rounds. Nicolas Colsaerts (shoulder) and Richard Finch (Achilles) retired in the first round.
Van Zyl has 13 victories on South Africa's Sunshine Tour but is yet to win on the European Tour, with the most recent of his four runner-up finishes coming at the Turkish Airlines Open in November.
''I've had a couple of weeks off, spending time with the family,'' Van Zyl said. ''I've had my fair share of whisky and Christmas pudding so it was really nice to get off to a good start.''
Starting at No. 10, Van Zyl picked up four shots on his front nine, and moved to 7 under after an eagle 3 at the par-5 second hole. He made up for his only bogey of the round, on No. 7, by making a birdie from three feet on the next hole.