Branden Grace shoots first 62 in a men’s major

South African Branden Grace acknowledges the crowd after completing his eight-under-par 62 at Royal Birkdale. Picture: Getty Images
South African Branden Grace acknowledges the crowd after completing his eight-under-par 62 at Royal Birkdale. Picture: Getty Images
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South African Branden Grace earned a place in the record books as he became the first male golfer to shoot 62 in a major with a stunning third-round effort in the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Taking full advantage of near-perfect conditions at the Southport venue, the 29-year-old eclisped no less than 31 players, including 10 in The Open alone, who had previously carded 63s in golf’s biggest events.

Grace, who opened with a 60 at Kingsbarns to set up victory in the 2012 Dunhill Links Championship, bagged eight birdies in a flawless effort as he stormed into contention in the season’s third major.

“It is special. It really is,” he admitted afterwards. “The Open is the event that I love the most so what a special place to get into the history books.”

The world No 35 said he had been completely unaware of that until it was pointed out to him by his caddie, Zack Rasego, after he’d kept his nerve to hole a two-foot par putt at the last.

“I honestly didn’t know,” added Grace. “I think Zack did and good on him for not saying anything to me earlier than he did.

“Finding out about it afterwards makes it feel even better. It is awsome. It’s something I enjoyed and will remember forever.”

The lowest-ever score in a major is 61, shot by Korea’s Kim Hyo-Joo in the 2014 Evian Championship.