Grace, Finch share lead at Joburg Open

Richard Finch opened the Johnnie Walker Championship with a 66 to take the first-round lead.

Richard Finch opened the Johnnie Walker Championship with a 66 to take the first-round lead.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Branden Grace and England’s Richard Finch were in front by one stroke at the Joburg Open on Saturday before the third round was stopped because of darkness.

Grace had played 15 holes of his third round and Finch was through 14, leaving both at 15 under par. South Africa’s George Coetzee was 14 under through 14 holes to trail by a shot.

Canada’s Andrew Parr and South Africa’s Dawie van der Walt shared the clubhouse lead at 12-under 203 at the European Tour event. Two-time defending champion and Masters winner Charl Schwartzel missed the cut earlier in the day.

The second event of the new season is trying to catch up after losing time Thursday and Friday because of thunderstorms. Play was incomplete for the third straight day at Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, meaning 27 of 67 players must finish their third rounds early Sunday.

Grace made five birdies in his 15 holes to move into a share of the tournament lead. Finch had an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys in his incomplete round.

Parr had eight birdies in an 8-under 64 on the East Course. Van der Walt was alongside him after six birdies and just one slip, a bogey at the par-4 No. 3.

Schwartzel bogeyed No. 17 in his second round on the way to 3-under 141 to just miss out at his home tournament. The cut was at 4 under. Retief Goosen, two-time winner of the U.S. Open, was tied for 10th at 10 under after completing 15 holes of his third round.

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