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Callaway Staff Professional Branden Grace became the first player in European Tour history to win four times in their rookie year, when he added the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, and his largest prize to date of €617,283, to his impressive tally of victories.
Following a Sunshine Tour win at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final last week, the 24-year old South African carded a 60-67-69-70 266 to win by two strokes, two clear of his nearest rival and four ahead of fellow Callaway Staff Professional, Swede Alex Noren, who took third. This is Grace’s fourth win on the European Tour this season, and it marked his fifth win of this year and the sixth of his career.
This win moves Grace, a product of the Ernie Els Foundation, to 3rd in The Race to Dubai standings with €2,028,215 – a record for a Qualifying School graduate the year after graduation, beating the previous best of €1,505,583 set in 2006.
It also makes him the youngest South African to win four times in a single season, beating the mark set by his golfing hero and fellow Callaway Staff Professional, Ernie Els, in 2003, who was 32 years and 325 days, whereas Grace is 24 years and 140 days.
Celebrating his win at ‘The Home of Golf’, Branden said: “It feels awesome. I’ve dreamt of this moment my whole life. I had goosebumps this morning thinking about the possibility of holding the trophy here.”
Earlier in the week, Open Champion Els went on record as saying Grace could win the Open Championship himself in years to come because his game is so suited to links golf. “‘He’s got a lot of speed in his swing. Fortunately for him he hits it nice and low and it runs forever. He could well win an Open Championship, he’s that good,” said Ernie.
Grace, using a full bag of Callaway and Odyssey product, including the fully adjustable RAZR Fit Driver and HEX Black Tour Golf Ball, started the week in scintillating form, carding a first round 60 (12 under par), over the Kingsbarns Links. He followed up with rounds of 67 over The Old Course and 69 at Carnoustie to lead into the final day.
Neil Howie, President of Callaway Golf Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “We agree with Branden’s fellow countryman and Callaway Staff Professional, Ernie Els, who predicts the 24-year-old as a Major winner of the future. To be a quadruple winner on this year’s European Tour is a phenomenal achievement and we’re proud Branden is part of our team”.
What’s in the Bag
Driver: Callaway RAZR Hawk Prototype, 7.5 degree
1st Fairway Wood: RAZR Fit, 15 degree
1st Utility Club: Diablo Edge Tour, 18 degree
3 - 9 Iron: Callaway X Forged 09
Wedges: X Forged, 52/12, 60/9
Putter: Odyssey Black Series Tour Design Wide #1
Ball: Callaway Hex Black Tour
For further information about the complete Callaway and Odyssey product ranges visit www.callawaygolf.com / www.odysseygolf.com
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