European Tour

Grace in uncharted territory

2013-01-07 20:16
Branden Grace (Gallo Images)

Durban - Branden Grace, who won four times last year after graduating from the European Tour's Qualifying School, will venture into uncharted territory at the Volvo Golf Champions event starting here on Thursday.

The South African has never gone into a tournament as defending champion and this week in Durban he faces strong competition from a field including major winners Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, Jose Maria Olazabal and Paul Lawrie.

"I've never defended a title before so this is another first for me," the 24-year-old Grace told the tour's official website ( on Monday.

"I know there's going to be a lot of hype around the event but that's just one of the things I will have to deal with."

Grace, who also won the Dunhill Links Championship, the Joburg Open and China Open in 2012, lifted the Volvo Champions title in George, South Africa last January after beating compatriots Els and Goosen in a playoff.

"Winning last year was absolutely awesome," he said. "I always thought I'd be a tough man to beat on the Fancourt links where I grew up playing the game.

"Everything went my way, a little bit of local knowledge kicked in and the way it finished made the week even better. I never would have dreamed of beating Ernie and Retief in a playoff so managing to do that was the cherry on the top," added Grace.

"I had literally only just finished my round and they pushed me straight back on to the tee. The only difference was that there was now two of my biggest idols and two of the greatest players in South African golf standing next to me."

Ryder Cup pair Nicolas Colsaerts and Francesco Molinari will also be chasing the first prize of €350 000 at the Durban Country Club this week.

Read more on:    volvo golf champions  |  branden grace  |  golf


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.