South Africa’s Branden Grace, one of the brightest young talents in golf, led from start to finish to celebrate his most impressive victory of the year, winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship by two shots, from Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen.
From the moment he signed his card after a spectacular first round 60 at Kingsbarns on Thursday, Grace, one of the best front-runners in golf, was a hot favourite to win. After shooting a final round 70 for a 22-under-par total of 266, Grace now joins some of the greatest names in golf – Sir Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods among them – who have won four European Tour events in the same season. At 24 years and 140 days old, he becomes the youngest winner in Alfred Dunhill Links Championship history. His victory and the US$800,000 first prize takes him to third in the Race to Dubai, the European Tour’s order of merit. (And all at only a couple of years older than us… Oh dear.)
Although he had one or two wobblies in his final round on the Old Course, Grace thoroughly deserved his victory. On accepting his win, he said, “I think whether you win as a junior or amateur or pro, just winning at St Andrews, the Home of Golf is special. This morning I was just going on the Internet and I looked at a couple of pictures of Louis Oosthuizen winning The Open here and what he looked like holding the trophy and I thought that would just make the day. I actually stayed with Louis this week. He invited me to stay with him and his family, so that’s been pretty awesome… Winning at St Andrews is a dream come true.” Amen to that.
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