Branden Grace enters history books with record-breaking round for the ages

Branden Grace Shoots First Ever 62 In A Major
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23 July, 2017

The South African, ranked 35th in the world, made the most of favourable conditions at Royal Birkdale to turn in a blemish-free scorecard featuring eight birdies.

Grace was flawless from start to finish.

Meanwhile, world number one Dustin Johnson made excellent progress in the benign conditions that were in stark contrast to the wet and miserable weather of Friday afternoon. He moved to 8-under par for the round with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 17th, and then wrapped up the record with a lovely lag from behind the 18th green to 2 feet. They tee off in the final pairing at 3:55pm. He split the fairway with his drive and seemed to spend an eternity deciding which club to use for his second shot.

"But, other than that, I hit the ball very well today". I just didn't hole enough putts. The tap-in was a formality, and the tens of thousands of people who had poured into this magnificent venue had seen history made.

Saturday was a historic day at Birkdale, and Grace will be remembered as the first to ever shoot a 62 in a major. But he will settle for his day's work.

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It is not the lowest score to par in a men's major though, with seven players scoring nine under on par-72 courses. Indeed, Greg Norman and Vijay Singh each did it twice.

"I had no idea that a 62 was obviously the lowest ever", Grace said.

Numerous game's biggest stars had near-misses. When it slowly lipped out, recalling Phil Mickelson's birdie putt in his opening round 63 previous year at Troon, it seemed that Grace had lost his chance. Robert Streb had a 63 during the second round at last year's PGA Championship. Woods later referred to his score as "62-and-a-half".

Players, such as Mickelson at last year's British Open, have flirted with the magical 62 number, but no one had been able to cross the line. "And Zack (Rasego) came up and said, 'You're in the history books.' And I was like, 'What are you talking about?'"

Grace - playing in the 13th pairing alongside Jason Dufner - went out in 29 to set up his bid for history.


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