Grace triumphs in Qatar

European Tour

Branden Grace needed every bit of his closing 66 to claim a one-shot victory at the Qatar Masters in Doha on Saturday.

Having held at least a share of the lead since day two, Grace saved his best for last, carding four birdies and a superb eagle to hold off a spirited challenge from Scotland’s Marc Warren and secure his sixth European Tour title.

The moment of the day came at the par-four 16th, where he drove the ball to four feet to set up the eagle which took him to 19 under par.

During Friday’s third round, Grace also produced a miraculous snap-hook wedge from the trees at the fifth, and Grace credited these two shots as being key to his victory.

“It was a great day, a great week, and it’s another trophy to put in the cupboard,” said Grace. “I’m going to thank Callaway again – that driver again on 16 to four feet; without that it wouldn’t be possible.

“That wedge on the fifth hole, that was a shot that you want to hit but you don’t always manage it.

“The form has been there, I played great and I managed to get in on top.”

The 26-year-old added: “This morning, I woke up, I went through a little bit of the previous videos of when I won just to try to get me in the right frame of mind and it worked. It was a nice way to wake up.

“The Middle East is one of the places I’ve always wanted to win. I’ve thought my game suits these type of golf courses, and I play well when I come here.

“These are big now, so this is one of the wins that’s really putting me back on the map now. I think I’ll be in the top 50 or just outside.

“These are the things that we need as golfers to push us to the next level – it’s just nice that I could do it at a place like this and in a special way like this.”

The victory is already Grace’s second in this year’s Race to Dubai, with the South African having triumphed on home soil at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December.

Runner-up Warren made all of eight birdies on the day, but will rue the three shots he dropped on the front nine with a bogey at the par-four fifth and a double bogey at the short eighth.

Australia’s Bernd Wiesberger shot a final-round 68 to finish in third.

Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose closed with rounds of 66 and 68 respectively to finish on 10 under in a tie for 13th.

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