Sunday, February 22, 2015

Branden Grace seals the deal at Fancourt, South Africa

Branden Grace was certainly a favourite ahead of this week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am and on Sunday he produced the goods in a trying final round.
“The wind really blew out there today, sometimes it was up to three clubs. I knew it was going to be a grind and you needed to keep calm. I managed to do that today and I was fortunate to end up at the top of the leaderboard,” he said.
The 25-year-old added the eagle trophy to his collection with a Sunday round of 70 and an 11-under-par total for the tournament, which stitched up his two-stroke victory over Keith Horne.
Darren Fichardt held a one-shot lead going into the last day, but a double bogey at the first hole marked the beginning of a tough 18 for the four-time European Tour winner.
Meanwhile Grace had also doubled the first, but at that stage he was an outside pick for the title. In the style of a true champion he went on to card birdies at the sixth and ninth to turn at level-par.
“That caught me off guard. Starting off with a double is not the easiest thing to get through your mind. You really want to start pushing it, but that’s what leads to bogeys. I knew it was going to be a tough day and you just had to stay patient out there,” he said.
The five-time Sunshine Tour plays out of Fancourt and that helped him to knuckle down when the going got tough. He dealt with the stretch in 34 blows, adding birdies at the 12th, 14th and 16th before setting the clubhouse target at 11-under.
“I made a couple of birdies before the turn and then a silly bogey on 11, but I came back strongly with a birdie on 12 and that just helped to keep the momentum going. I really started playing some nice golf and it carried on this week.”
“I love it down here. Fancourt has been a great supporter of myself and I think it’s one of the best resorts in the world. It really helped being a local, because you know where to hit the ball,” he said.
Horne went on to card 69 and finished sole second on nine-under-par.
Behind him Fichardt was struggling and double bogeyed the 16th, thereby eliminating his chances of winning.
 He reached the 72-hole mark on eight-under-par and shared third with Jaco van Zyl, Hennie Otto, Callum Mowat, Danie van Tonder, and Tjaart van der Walt.




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