SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

2nd March 2024

Syme and Brown tied at the top in SDC Championship

ST FRANCIS BAY (Eastern Cape) – Scotland’s Connor Syme and England’s Daniel Brown will take a two-stroke lead into Sunday’s final round of the SDC Championship at St Francis Links, with Robin Williams leading the lone South African challenge two strokes off the lead.

On another day when the wind made for a few extra conversations between player and caddie, Syme controlled his ball flight superbly as he signed for a third round of 67. Alongside him, Brown went into the round with a three-stroke lead and birdied the first to suggest it was going to be all his day. But two bogeys on the front nine and then a difficult stretch of three bogeys in four holes from the turn brought him back to the field. He fought back with three birdies thereafter for a solid 72. They both lead on 11 under par.

Syme summed up just how difficult the changing winds here are when he said, “It’s like playing a different golf course entirely”.

Yet he managed it superbly as he put himself in a position to finally claim a DP World Tour victory after coming close several times. It was a round in which he also won himself a four-night MSC luxury cruise as part of the Sunshine Tour’s Beat the Pro competition, offering amateurs the chance to see if they can hit it closer to the pros in their group on the par-three 15th. With no amateur able to do so, Syme earned the prize as the closest pro on the hole.

“I putted really nicely today. It’s always tricky in the breeze to judge your pace but I did that well today. It was also all about controlling your ball flight and you’ve got to shape your ball both ways around here. I’m really happy with how I did that today.”

Syme, who finished in the top 20 in this event last year, said he’s under no illusions as to the challenge that awaits on Sunday.

“The conditions are so tricky and there are so many great golfers here that it’s going to be tight until the finish on Sunday. But I was here last year and earmarked it as having another go at it this year. It’s a very similar links challenge to back home in Scotland. I’m taking it as it comes and looking forward to the challenge.”

England’s Andy Sullivan, American James Nicholas and South Africa’s Williams are their nearest challengers on nine under par. Williams had worked himself to within one shot of the lead before a bogey at the last. – Michael Vlismas