Grace creates history at Dunhill Links

South African wins fourth European Tour title of season with two-shot victory at St Andrews

Andy Roberts's picture
Golfmagic Tour
Sun, 7 Oct 2012

Grace creates history at Dunhill Links

Branden Grace has set his sights on winning the Race to Dubai after becoming the first European Tour player to win four times the year after graduation.

The 24-year-old South African, who opened with a scintillating 12-under 60 at Kingsbarns on Thursday, added a 69 at Carnoustie with rounds of 67 and 70 at St Andrews to see out a two-shot victory over Thorbjorn Olesen on a joint-tournament record 22-under.

Grace now joins an elite list of players including Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Sir Nick Faldo, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Martin Kaymer, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Ian Woosnam to have won four or more titles in one European Tour season.

“It feels awesome,” said Grace, who moves from 12th to third in the Race to Dubai standings. “Winning the Race to Dubai is now a possibility. It's in my sights.”

The Pretoria-born star, who works with caddie Zach Rasego - the man who helped Louis Oosthuizen win the 2010 Open Championship - admitted he'd fulfilled a lifelong ambition by winning at The Home of Golf.

“This is something I'd dreamt of my whole life,” added the former Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation pupil, who also won the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final on the Sunshine Tour last week.

“I got goosebumps this morning when I looked back at what Louis [Oosthuizen] achieved here winning the 2010 Open and I thought lifting this trophy on that little bridge is going to be amazing.”

Four clear overnight and five in front after a birdie at the first, Grace played the next ten holes in 2-over and walked off the 11th green in a tie for the lead with Olesen. However, a hat-trick of birdies at 12, 13 and 14 saw the South African vault three clear again and gain full control of the tournament.

Olesen returned a 68 to finish in solo second on 20-under, two shots clear of Sweden's Alexander Noren, who won the Pro-Am team event with partner Ernesto Bertarelli on 36-under.

Click here for final-round highlights.

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Final Leaderboard

-22 B Grace (RSA)
-20 T Olesen (Den)
-18 A Noren (Swe)

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