Branden John Grace (born 20 May 1988) is a professional golfer from South Africa who currently plays on the European Tour, the PGA Tour, and the Sunshine Tour. In 2012, he became the first player in the history of the European Tour to win his first four European Tour titles in the same year.
Grace at the 2016 Qatar Masters
|Full name||Branden John Grace|
|Born||20 May 1988|
Pretoria, South Africa
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||78 kg (172 lb; 12.3 st)|
|Residence||George, South Africa|
|Current tour(s)||European Tour|
|Former tour(s)||Challenge Tour|
|Highest ranking||10 (14 February 2016)|
(as of 20 September 2020)
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in major championships|
|Masters Tournament||T18: 2013|
|PGA Championship||3rd: 2015|
|U.S. Open||T4: 2015|
|The Open Championship||T6: 2017|
|Achievements and awards|
Grace was born in Pretoria. As an amateur he participated in the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation. He won the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship in 2006. He turned professional in 2007.
Grace played on the Challenge Tour in 2007 which is Europe's second tier tour. He only played in eight events but recorded two top-ten finishes. In 2008 he played on the Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour. He finished 35th on the Challenge Tour's Order of Merit while recording three top-10 finishes including finishing in a tie for second at the Ypsilon Golf Challenge. He then earned his European Tour card for 2009 through qualifying school.
In 2009, Grace struggled on the European Tour but finished in a tie for second at the Africa Open on the Sunshine Tour, behind winner Retief Goosen. He finished in the top 10 in seven of the nine Sunshine Tour events that he played in en route to an 11th-place finish on the Order of Merit. He picked up his first professional win in 2010 at the Coca-Cola Charity Championship on the Sunshine Tour. In 2011 he finished 24th on the Challenge Tour's Order of Merit while recording five top-10 finishes. He also finished 7th on the Sunshine Tour's Order of Merit. He went back to qualifying school to earn his European Tour card for 2012.
2012: Breakthrough seasonEdit
In January he won the Joburg Open which was co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour. He won by one stroke over Jamie Elson. He then won the Volvo Golf Champions the following week to make it back-to-back European Tour victories, beating his veteran compatriots Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in a playoff with a birdie on the first hole. Grace became the first player since Fred Couples in 1995 to follow his first victory with another consecutively. As a result, Grace moved inside the world's top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
On 22 April, Grace won his third tournament on the European Tour when he won the Volvo China Open. Only two players have won three European Tour titles in a single season at a younger age, Seve Ballesteros did it three times between 1977 and 1980, and Sandy Lyle did it in 1979. Grace also became only the third South African to win three times in a single season, joining Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. He also became only the second player in European Tour history to win three times in the season after graduating from qualifying school.
In September, Grace captured his third Sunshine Tour title at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final. On 7 October, Grace won his fourth European Tour title and fifth worldwide title of 2012 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He broke the scoring record at the tournament to win at 22 under par, two strokes clear of Thorbjørn Olesen. His record total included a European Tour record equalling 60 at Kingsbarns during the first round. Grace moved to third in the Race to Dubai and also to a career high 37th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Grace capped off a highly successful 2012 season by winning the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.
Grace had a less successful season in 2013, finishing 18th on the European Tour's Race to Dubai, his best finish being second in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open where he lost in a sudden-death playoff to Phil Mickelson. During 2014, Grace continued his high showings on the European Tour Race to Dubai. Despite a second winless season, Grace finished 31st in the year end standings, with a best performance of second in the Volvo Golf Champions.
In December 2014, as part of the 2015 European Tour season, Grace won his fifth European Tour event, and first since 2012, at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Grace won the event by 7 strokes from fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen. Grace soon followed this up with his second win of the 2015 season with a win at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in January 2015. The following month, he won again on home soil at the Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Sunshine Tour, with a two stroke victory over Keith Horne.
At the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, Grace held a share of the lead through 54 holes. On Sunday, he was in the penultimate group with eventual champion, Jordan Spieth, and was still tied for the lead heading to the 16th hole, until he blocked his drive to the right and out of bounds, forcing him to re-tee and eventually leading to a double bogey to spiral him out of contention to win. He finished with a final round 71, and a tied for 4th position. At the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits Grace placed in the top-five for the second time in his career at the major championships, when he placed third.
At the 2015 Presidents Cup, Grace would have a perfect week. On the opening day (Thursday foursomes), Grace teamed with fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen to defeat Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed in comfortable fashion 3 and 2. On Day 2 (Friday fourball), Grace would again team with Oosthuizen in a dominant performance against world number one Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson winning 4 and 3. On Day 3 (Saturday morning foursomes), Grace for a third time teaming with Oosthuizen, won in another comfortable match 3 and 2, defeating the team of Reed and Rickie Fowler. Later in the day during (Saturday afternoon fourball), teaming with Oosthuizen a fourth and final time, the team won its fourth match against the undefeated duo of Bubba Watson and J. B. Holmes. The fourball match being the only time Grace would see the 18th hole all week, his team winning 1 up at the last. On the final day of the event (Sunday singles), Grace played against Kuchar and started out red hot, dominating Kuchar on the front nine. Kuchar fought back from several holes down before losing 2 and 1. Grace's perfect record of 5–0–0 was the fifth such occasion in Presidents Cup history and just the second time for the International side.
On 30 January 2016, Grace defended his Commercial Bank Qatar Masters title for his seventh victory on the European Tour. He finished two strokes ahead of Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Thorbjorn Olesen, after shooting a three under round of 69 on a day when he started two back of leader Paul Lawrie. Grace became the first player to successfully defend the tournament.
In January 2019, Grace started working with Scottish caddie, Craig Connelly.
In January 2020, Grace fired a final round 62 to win the South African Open. The victory capped a unique milestone for Grace. Previously in his career, he had won every significant tournament in South African golf: Joburg Open (2012), Alfred Dunhill Championship (2014), the Dimension Data Pro-Am (2015) and the Nedbank Golf Challenge (2017). The national Open was the only one missing.
Professional wins (13)Edit
PGA Tour wins (1)Edit
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||17 Apr 2016||RBC Heritage||−9 (66-74-69-66=275)||2 strokes||Luke Donald, Russell Knox|
European Tour wins (9)Edit
|Rolex Series (1)|
|Other European Tour (8)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||15 Jan 2012||Joburg Open1||−17 (67-66-65-72=270)||1 stroke||Jamie Elson|
|2||22 Jan 2012||Volvo Golf Champions||−12 (68-66-75-71=280)||Playoff||Ernie Els, Retief Goosen|
|3||22 Apr 2012||Volvo China Open2||−21 (67-67-64-69=267)||3 strokes||Nicolas Colsaerts|
|4||7 Oct 2012||Alfred Dunhill Links Championship||−22 (60-67-69-70=266)||2 strokes||Thorbjørn Olesen|
|5||14 Dec 2014
|Alfred Dunhill Championship1||−20 (62-66-72-68=268)||7 strokes||Louis Oosthuizen|
|6||24 Jan 2015||Commercial Bank Qatar Masters||−19 (67-68-68-66=269)||1 stroke||Marc Warren|
|7||30 Jan 2016||Commercial Bank Qatar Masters (2)||−14 (70-67-68-69=274)||2 strokes||Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Thorbjørn Olesen|
|8||12 Nov 2017||Nedbank Golf Challenge||−11 (68-75-68-66=277)||1 stroke||Scott Jamieson|
|9||12 Jan 2020||South African Open1||−21 (64-70-67-62=263)||3 strokes||Louis Oosthuizen|
European Tour playoff record (1–1)
|1||2012||Volvo Golf Champions||Ernie Els, Retief Goosen||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
|2||2013||Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open||Phil Mickelson||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
Sunshine Tour wins (6)Edit
|South African Opens (1)|
|Other Sunshine Tour (5)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||18 Nov 2010||Coca-Cola Charity Championship||−7 (68-71-70=209)||2 strokes||Ulrich van den Berg, Justin Walters|
|2||15 Jan 2012||Joburg Open1||−17 (67-66-65-72=270)||1 stroke||Jamie Elson|
|3||28 Sep 2012||Vodacom Origins of Golf Final||−10 (69-72-68=209)||3 strokes||Allan Versfeld|
|4||14 Dec 2014||Alfred Dunhill Championship1||−20 (62-66-72-68=268)||7 strokes||Louis Oosthuizen|
|5||22 Feb 2015||Dimension Data Pro-Am||−11 (71-68-69-70=278)||2 strokes||Keith Horne|
|6||12 Jan 2020||South African Open1||−21 (64-70-67-62=263)||3 strokes||Louis Oosthuizen|
1Co-sanctioned by the European Tour
Challenge Tour playoff record (0–1)
|1||2008||Ypsilon Golf Challenge||Seve Benson, Rafa Cabrera-Bello||Benson won with birdie on third extra hole|
Grace eliminated by birdie on second hole
Results in major championshipsEdit
Results not in chronological order in 2020.
|The Open Championship||T43||T77||T64||T36||T20||T72||T6||CUT|
|The Open Championship||T51||NT|
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
NT = No tournament due to COVID-19 pandemic
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||0||1||2||9||8|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (2016 U.S. Open – 2017 Open Championship)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (five times)
Results in The Players ChampionshipEdit
|The Players Championship||T48||T42||T57||T48||T46||T72|
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Results in World Golf ChampionshipsEdit
Results not in chronological order prior to 2015.
1Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
NT = No tournament
"T" = Tied
- "Week 07 2016 Ending 14 Feb 2016" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- "With This Win – Branden Grace". PGA European Tour. 7 October 2012.
- Kaspriske, Ron (February 2013). "Think Young, Play Hard: Branden Grace". Golf Digest.
- "Branden Grace takes SANLAM SA Amateur Strokeplay". South African Golf Association. 8 March 2006. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "Branden Grace player profile". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "Branden Grace Career Record". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "Benson claims second Challenge Tour title". PGA European Tour. 19 March 2010.
- "Four Scots secure Euro Tour cards". BBC Sport. 19 November 2008.
- "Amazing Grace Creates History in China". PGA European Tour. 22 April 2012.
- "Phil Mickelson wins first individual title in Britain at Scottish Open". The Guardian. London. Press Association. 14 July 2013.
- "Grace wins Alfred Dunhill Championship by 7 shots". The Times of India. Mumbai. 14 December 2014.
- "Qatar Masters: Branden Grace completes one-shot win in Doha". BBC Sport. 24 January 2015.
- "Branden Grace shoots first 62 in a major". ESPN. 22 July 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "Top new bag for Scottish caddie Connelly". bunkered. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
- Herrington, Ryan (12 January 2020). "A Sunday 62 gives Branden Grace the South African Open title and a unique career milestone". Golf World. Retrieved 12 January 2020.