Golf

Fab four for Grace

2012-09-28 17:36
(Luke Walker/ Sunshine Tour)
Fancourt - Branden Grace’s dream season continued with his fourth victory this year in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final at The Links at Fancourt on Friday.

In a cold and windy final round, Grace’s experience shone through as he closed with a 68 to finish on 10 under par for a three-stroke triumph.

It continued a remarkable season for Grace that started with his victory in the Joburg Open in January, then the Volvo Golf Champions a week later, followed by the Volvo China Open and now this win.

“I really looked forward to coming back here and playing The Links again. I’ve got fond memories of this course, and now I’ve made some new ones,” said Grace, who admitted that Friday’s conditions were of the toughest he’s experienced on this course.

“This is definitely one of toughest days I’ve played The Links on. The wind was brutal and the rain came now and then. But it helps being a member here.”

His experience was key on the back nine, where Grace made three birdies in four holes from the 12th to take the lead, and then closed off with a birdie on 18.

Allan Versfeld, who led going into the final round, took second place on seven under with a closing 75. Versfeld was under pressure early on following his double bogey on the fourth.

Grace’s victory comes at the perfect time in terms of his preparations to play in next week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in St Andrews on some of the finest links courses in the world.

“The way I played this week is a big confidence booster for the Dunhill Links, especially the way I played today, so I’m looking forward to that.”

It’s also the exact lift he needed going into a busy final few months of the year in which he’ll be focused on breaking into the top 50 on the world ranking and earning a spot in the 2013 Masters.

“I had a tough couple of months where I was quite tired from all the playing, then I had a break which did me the world of good. This win is just what I need for the end of year push.”

Scores (RSA unless specified):
209 - Branden Grace 69 72 68
212 - Allan Versfeld 71 66 75
217 - Divan van den Heever 69 71 77
219 - Vaughn Groenewald 71 71 77
220 - Andrew Georgiou 75 70 75, Grant Muller 73 70 77, Alex Haindl 72 67 81
221 - Ulrich van den Berg 70 77 74, Oliver Bekker 73 73 75, Warren Abery 71 74 76, Neil Schietekat 70 72 79
222 - Bradford Vaughan 77 74 71, Ryan Tipping 71 79 72, George Coetzee 75 73 74, Darryn Lloyd 73 73 76, Jean Hugo 75 71 76, James Kamte 73 73 76, Francois Haughton 72 74 76, Desvonde Botes 71 72 79, Ruan de Smidt 71 71 80
224 - Danie van Tonder 73 76 75, Jake Roos 73 74 77, Michiel Bothma 71 75 78, Louis de Jager 72 74 78, Brandon Pieters 72 74 78, Andrew Curlewis 73 73 78, Alan Michell 73 72 79, Ross Wellington 72 73 79
225 - Titch Moore 75 75 75
226 - Chris Swanepoel 69 72 85
227 - Steve Basson 71 77 79, Trevor Fisher Jnr 73 70 84
228 - Joshua Cunliffe 75 76 77, Anthony Michael 72 74 82, Charl Coetzee 72 73 83
229 - Dean O'Riley 76 75 78, Wallie Coetsee 75 72 82
231 - Jake Redman 71 77 83
232 - PH McIntyre 76 75 81, Johan du Buisson 73 78 81
234 - Tyrone Ferreira 74 74 86
235 - Riekus Nortje 69 79 87
237 - JG Claassen 78 73 86

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