The golf world will be watching the Oakmont Country Club this week, where the 116th edition of the US Open takes place. And we’ll be watching Branden Grace, currently ranked 12th in the world, in his attempt to win his first major.
After winning two titles in 2016 already, Grace will enter the tournament confidently. Earlier this year, he won the Qatar masters for the second time in a row. He also won his first PGA Tour title in the RBC Heritage.
Last year, Grace was already close to winning at the US Open. With three holes to play, he was tied for the lead, but a bad tee-shot cost him the chance of winning. He would end up finishing at the fourth place.
As we are used to at the US open, the best players in the world will face a very tough course. The rough at the Oakmont Country Club is incredible difficult and the greens extremely fast. There are also several blind shots at the course and 210 penal bunkers will protect the greens and fairways.
Grace seemed surprisingly popular at the bookmakers in the US this year. Next to the high ranked major winners, he is seen as ...
After winning his first title in Qatar year, Grace won his second title of the year this weekend at the RBC Heritage. It was his first win at the PGA Tour.
Brace shot a round of 66 on Sunday, and overtook former world number one Luke Donald to win the title. After round three, Grace was still 3 strokes behind Donald, but at the turn he had already reduced that to zero thanks to five birdies. After the turn, he secured his victory with birdies at the 12th and 13th hole. He ended up two shots ahead of Donald.
With this win, Grace adds over $1M to his bank account and secures his PGA Tour card until the 2018 season. Grace already has his eye on even higher prices: “I can tick this one off the box and head into the next couple of majors trying to win it”
Branden Grace is confident that his impressive victory at the Qatar Masters will give him the platform to achieve his long-term goal of breaking into the world's top 10.
The South African, who dropped only one shot over the weekend despite the windy weather, started the week ranked 11th in the world, and that is where he will remain when the new rankings are published on Monday.
However, Grace is just a 10th of a point behind current world No 10 Patrick Reed, and the 27-year-old said: "I'm knocking, I'm very close. Winning tournaments is the priority. If you can take care of tournaments and try to win or finish at the top, you'll move up in the world rankings eventually.
"Top 10 has been a long-time goal for me so if I can get in there, then that's great. I believe it's going to happen, whether it's maybe after this week or after the next tournament I play. I've given myself the chance of getting that and I feel that the type of golf that I'm playing at the moment, that it's not far off."