Amazing Grace wins Heritage title by two strokes

Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:00pm EDT
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(Reuters) - South African Branden Grace delivered a final-round master class to clinch a long expected first victory on the PGA Tour by two shots at the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Sunday.

The world number 14, who thrust himself into the limelight at the game's highest level with top-four finishes last year at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, closed with a superb five-under-par 66 at the Harbour Town course on Hilton Head Island.

Helped by pinpoint distance control with his irons and brilliant putting on lightning-fast greens, Grace mixed seven birdies with just two bogeys to post a nine-under total of 275 in the first PGA Tour event after last week's Masters.

Third-round leader Luke Donald of England, striving to end a four-year title drought on the U.S. circuit, carded a 71 to share second place with Scotland's Russell Knox (67). It was Donald's fourth runner-up spot at the event.

American Bryson DeChambeau (68), making his professional debut after ending his amateur career with a tie for 21st at last week's Masters, finished joint fourth at five under.

Grace, who clinched his seventh European Tour victory with a successful title defense at the Qatar Masters in January, was delighted to triumph at a venue where he effectively kickstarted his PGA Tour career last year.

"It put me on the map a little bit," Grace, 27, told CBS Sports about his tie for seventh at the Heritage 12 months ago. "It gave me that little push and drive to finish things up in the future.

"I was really amped to get back to this place ... I like the type of golf you have to play on this place and it's worked this week."

Grace began the final round three strokes off the pace and moved into a tie for the lead with Donald and Knox when he rolled in a four-footer to birdie the par-four sixth.   Continued...

Branden Grace hits his tee shot on the 9th hole during the first round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament. at Harbour Town Golf Links. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports