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Branden Grace Makes History With a 62 at the British Open

Branden Grace Makes History With a 62 at the British Open

At one stage he might even have entertained hopes of recording the first round of 62 in a men's major - a feat actually achieved on the same day by South Africa's Branden Grace.

Grace posted back-to-back birdies from the eighth to reach the turn in 29 and moved further up the leaderboard by holing a 35-footer at the par-three 14th. He took a putter and played a fantastic shot that rolled to the side of the hole. "It was a special day, to be quite honest". But nobody had ever managed a 62.

"I was in the zone, trying to finish the round and it's never nice to finish with a bogey". So, I definitely lost a couple of shots there on the last couple of holes. "Sometimes it helps not knowing these things".

Grace said Birkdale is "in immaculate condition" and "the best that I've seen any golf links in". A par-34 front nine that can give up 29s, like one by Grace, providing a head start on low rounds.

Grace's performance was textbook.

After hard conditions on Friday, Grace was able to take advantage of near-perfect golfing weather on the event's penultimate day to move to within two shots of overnight leader Jordan Spieth. He is now 4-under and figures to be in the thick of the final-round race for the Claret Jug. In the opening round of last year's Open, Phil Mickelson lipped out his own 18-foot putt for history.

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A 63 score has been recorded 31 times in a major tournament, first by Johnny Miller at the 1973 U.S. Open and most recently by Justin Thomas in 2017 at the U.S. Open.

He played the third round with Jason Dufner, who shot a 63 at Oak Hill in the second round of the PGA Championship four years ago.

"I think I'm in a position where it can be very advantageous, just everything I've gone through, the good, the bad and everything in the middle".

Grace will find himself teeing off in one of the later pairs come Sunday when anything can happen, and as fans who remember the finale of last year's Open Championship well know. His career low round in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event was a 63 at the WGC-HSBC Champions event previous year.

"Talking about this can go on forever", Grace said. "I hit a great wedge in there, just caught a fly, a little bit of a jumper and made it tough for myself". But he tugged his 2-iron to the left, and his chip was not great, leaving a 10-footer.


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