Grace: I am getting closer

Branden Grace continued his fine form in this year’s majors following a career best third place at the PGA Championships.

After missing the cut at the Masters at Augusta, the South African bounced back at the US Open to finish tied for fourth, his first top ten finish in a major.

Then at The Open, Grace battled the adverse conditions at the Home of Golf in St Andrews to make the cut and finish tied for 20th position.

Grace was always in touch with the leaders over the weekend at Whistling Straits, but it was his flawless eight under 64 in the third round that catapulted him up the leaderboard.

On Sunday, the Pretoria-born golfer was off to a flying start, playing the front nine in four under. But the a mistake at the turn left him with too much to do in the closing holes.

“I got off to the dream start out there, four under through nine, which was needed on a day like today,” said the 27-year-old after his round.

“But I had a couple of silly mistakes around the corner. I had a disappointing double bogey on the tenth that got me back, too far back, and then it was just a grind coming in. But a solid third, it’s still a great week, and there’s still a lot of positives, again, to take out of it.

“Obviously I’m getting closer in the majors, which I want to do. I feel that the game is keeping up and the standard of golf that I’m playing is showing. And I don’t have to step down for these guys.”

Grace’s final round, a three under 69, would be enough for third place on his own, two strokes behind the indomitable Jordan Speith and five behind winner Jason Day. The result also pushes Grace up to 20th in the world golf rankings.

The six-time European Tour winner had nothing but praise for Day, who experienced the jubilation of winning his first major championship.

“Jason was just a tough competitor this week,” said Grace.

“He played some marvelous golf and I don’t think anybody would have caught him this week. But if those silly mistakes weren’t in there, you never know what would have been the finish. But it’s still a great week.”