Name:Branden John Grace
Born:May 20, 1988 in Pretoria, Gauteng Province, S Africa.
Presidents Cup player (2013, '15, '17). Multiple wins on the Sunshine and European Tours. Sunshine Tour Order of Merit winner (2012). First player to shoot a round of 62 in a men's major championship.
Grace's early years as a professional were spent honing his skills on the Sunshine Tour and the Challenge Tour (Europe's second tier tour). After earning his 2012 European Tour card at Q-school, Grace immediately set about establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. In January 2012 he won the Joburg Open which was a European and Sunshine Tours co-sanctioned event. The following week he won the Volvo Golf Champions, making it back-to-back wins on the European Tour. In April he notched-up his his third European Tour victory at the Volvo China Open. His fourth European Tour win was on European soil, coming in October at the prestigious Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. After this remarkable year, Grace had become the first player in European Tour history to win his first four European Tour events in the same year.
In 2017 in the third round of The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, Grace posted a score of 62 ... the lowest ever score in a men's major championship. Prior to his record-breaking round, 31 players had shot a round of 63 in a major, starting with Johnny Miller in the final round of the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont.
Grace enjoyed notable victories on the European Tour (9) and PGA Tour (2), as well as recording several other international tour wins. In 2022, aged 34, he was enticed onto Greg Norman's "rebel" LIV Golf series, alongside a few other well-known but mainly "ageing" golf stars, and an abundance of lower-ranked "unknowns". (LIV Golf is a Saudi Arabian-bankrolled breakaway rival to the main international tours. It is based on limited-field 54-hole events, with massive prize funds, guaranteed payouts and, for some, eye-watering signing-on bonuses).
Played as the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series (Portland) (Jul 1-3; LIV Golf event; 54-hole 48-player no-cut individual event, and accompanying 4-player team event). [Composite of the Witch Hollow and Ghost Creek courses, Pumpkin Ridge GC, nr Portland, OR].
Individual event: Second-placed Carlos Ortiz (Mex) finished 2 shots behind Branden Grace (RSA). World ranked No.132 Grace scooped the $4 million first prize and world No.120 Ortiz the $2,125,000 second prize.
Team event: second-placed Stingers team (Louis Oosthuizen, Hennie Du Plessis, Charl Schwartzel & Branden Grace) finished 7 shots behind the Four Aces team (Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Pat Perez & Talor Gooch), who shared the $3 million team first prize.
Note: the second of eight 2022 "Invitational Series" events run by Greg Norman's Saudi Arabian-bankrolled LIV Golf company ... a rival series of events to those staged by the world's established men's golf tours.
Played as the Puerto Rico Open (Feb 25-28). Second-placed Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) finished 1 shot behind Branden Grace (RSA), whose final round eagle-birdie finish secured his second PGA Tour win. [Championship course, Grand Reserve GC, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico].
Played as the South African Open Championship hosted by City of Johannesburg (Jan 9-12; Eurpn/Sunshine Trs event; first of two South African Opens played in 2020). Second-placed and defending champion Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) finished 3 shots behind Grace (RSA), who claimed his first win in his home Open championship. [Firethorn course, Randpark GC, Johannesburg. Earlier rounds also on Randpark's Bushwillow course].
Played as the Nedbank Golf Challenge (Nov 9-12; seventh of eight Eurpn Tr Rolex Series events). Second-placed Scott Jamieson (Scot) finished 1 shot behind Grace (RSA), who became the first home-country winner of "Africa's Major" since 2007. [Gary Player CC, Sun City Resort, North West Prov, South Africa].
Played as the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters (Jan 27-30; European Tour event). Second-placed Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Esp) and Thorbjørn Olesen (Den) finished 2 shots behind defending champion Branden Grace (RSA). [Doha GC, Qatar].
Played as the RBC Heritage (Apr 14-17). Second-placed Luke Donald (Eng) and Russell Knox (Scot) finished 2 shots behind first-time PGA Tour winner Grace (RSA). [Harbour Town Links, Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head, SC].
Played as the Dimension Data Pro-Am (Feb 19-22; Sunshine Tr event). Second-placed Keith Horne (RSA) finished 2 shots behind Grace (RSA). [Montagu course, Fancourt, George, Western Cape, RSA].
Played as the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters (Jan 21-24; European Tour event). Second-placed Marc Warren (Scot) finished 1 shot behind Branden Grace (RSA). [Doha GC, Qatar].
Played as the Alfred Dunhill Championship (Dec 11-14; Sunshine/European Trs event; European Tr 2015 season). Second-placed Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) finished 7 shots behind wire-to-wire Branden Grace (RSA), who claimed his fifth European Tour win. [Leopard Creek CC, Malelane, Mpumalanga, RSA].
Played as the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (Oct 4-7). Second-placed Thorbjørn Olesen (Den) finished 2 shots behind Branden Grace (RSA), who recorded his fourth European Tour win of 2012. Grace became the only golfer to win his first four European Tour titles in the same year. [Old Course, St Andrews, Fife. Earlier rounds of this pro-am event also played at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns].
Played as the Volvo China Open (April 19-22; OneAsia/European Tours event). Second-placed and defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts (Belg) finished 3 shots behind Branden Grace (RSA), who recorded his third European Tour win of 2012. [North course, Binhai Lake GC, Tianjin, China].
2012 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit (and associated Sid Brews Trophy). Won by Grace (RSA) with season earnings of R2,760,319. George Coetzee (RSA) was second with R1,930,564; Jaco Van Zyl (RSA) was third with R1,655,987. Charl Schwartzel (RSA) was the Tour's leading money winner with R3,203,886, and Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) won R1.7mill, but both did not play the minimum six tournaments to be ranked in the Order of Merit.
Played as the Joburg Open (Jan 12-15; Eurpn/Sunshine Trs event). Second-placed Jamie Elson (Eng) finished 1 shot behind 23-year-old home-country winner Branden Grace (RSA), who claimed his first European Tour win. [East course, Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC, Johannesburg, RSA. Earlier rounds on East & West courses].
Played as the Volvo Golf Champions (Jan 19-22; Eurpn/Sunshine Trs event). Branden Grace (RSA) beat Retief Goosen (RSA) and Ernie Els (RSA) with a birdie at the first playoff hole, to win his second European Tour title. Grace became the first golfer since Fred Couples (1995) to win his first two European titles back-to-back. [Links course, Fancourt, George, Western Cape, RSA].
FedEx Cup playoffs: the PGA Tour’s season finale starts in Memphis (TPC Southwind; Aug 11-14) and culminates in Atlanta (East Lake; Aug 25-28) … for the winner, the biggest prize in world golf … $18 million.
British Women’s Open: the year’s final women’s major championship heads for mighty Muirfield in East Lothian, Scotland, with Anna Nordqvist defending (Aug 4-7).
Anna Nordqvist: major championships aside, Solheim Cup stalwart Nordqvist notched up her first official Ladies European Tour win at the 2022 Ladies Dutch Open (aka Big Green Egg Open).
Cameron Smith: the Aussie PGA Tour player shot a blistering final round 64 to record his first major championship win at the home of golf in the 150th Open Championship.
Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: With a clubhouse that might befit a Roman Emperor, and a golf course to match, you can be sure of a memorable outing at Rome's most talked about golf facility.
Jim Fazio's original layout was much changed to create a modern Ryder Cup course ... now one of the Eternal City's (and Italy's) most revered.
Golf Son Gual is home to a course frequently rated the No.1 layout on the holiday island of Mallorca. Opening for play in 2007, this Thomas Himmel design combines the openness of a links-style layout with the stylish bunkering and not infrequent water hazards more typically associated with parkland courses.
Son Gual is located just a few kilometres from Palma (Mallorca). Palma's Old City shows clear influences from the city's Arab past.
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