Record-breaking graduate Grace in Dubai dreamland

Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:37am EST
 

By Tony Jimenez

DUBAI (Reuters) - South African Branden Grace is still pinching himself after winning four times this year, the best record by a graduate of the Qualifying School in the history of the European Tour.

Grace grabbed the 11th card at Qualifying School but has done little scrambling since as he reeled off victories at the Joburg Open, Volvo Golf Champions in South Africa, China Open and the Dunhill Links in Scotland.

"This time last year I was heading to tour school - that seems so far away now," the 24-year-old told reporters on the eve of the DP World Tour Championship.

"It has been a great year... a dream come true. One thing led to another and I think after I got the confidence from the first win everything just fell into place."

Grace's first two victories came on home soil but the turning point came when he won in China.

"I really wanted to win outside South Africa because there was a lot of stuff written suggesting I might only win on home turf," he said.

"When I won the Volvo Golf Champions I think that was a big step for me. Now I think I can really play and I'm looking forward to what's to come."

Seve Ballesteros (1986), Nick Faldo (1992), Colin Montgomerie (1999) and Lee Westwood (2000), four greats of the circuit, hold the record for most wins in a European Tour season with six.   Continued...

 
South Africa's Branden Grace reacts after his birdie on the third green during the first round for the 2012 U.S. Open golf championship on the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California June 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes