Branden Grace slides into Nedbank title with 66

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Branden Grace slides into Nedbank title with 66

Euro Tour

Branden Grace slides into Nedbank title with 66

 

Branden Grace became the first South African in 10 years to win the $7.5 million Nedbank Golf Championship when he returned a closing 66 to win the $1.1 million first place check. 

Grace began the final round three shots behind Scotland’s Scott Jamieson. With everyone expecting Jamieson to battle it out with France’s Victor Dubuisson for the title, Grace snuck in with a bogey free round to become the first home winner since Trevor Immelman in 2007.

The 29 year old hit all 18 greens in regulation in his 66, making three birdies on each nine. He was tied with Dubuisson and Jamieson with four holes to play, but holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 16th to move to 11 under and break the deadlock. Jamieson settled for second a shot off the pace, while Dubuisson finished third on nine under.

“This is awesome,” Grace said. “This is the one event that as a South African you want to win. It’s Africa’s major for a reason and what a special place it is.

“There’s a lot of history and a lot of great winners on the trophy and I’m very glad to be able to put my name on the trophy as well.”

The news was extra special for the strong South African after the news he received earlier in the tournament.

“It’s a very special week, we found out on Wednesday we’re having a boy.

“I had to stay patient and I had to take the chances when they came my way. I missed a couple of short ones but I think the big key was the putt on 16.”

Jamieson took home a check for $831,500 while Dubuisson earned $467,000. The money moved both into the European Tour’s top 60 at 23rd and 38th respectively, and therefore eligible for this week’s $8.5 million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, the final event of the 2017 schedule.

European number one Tommy Fleetwood finished joint 10th to earn $142,000. He is now 256,737 points ahead of Justin Rose in the race to finish the year as European number one. Rose did not play in South Africa.

 

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