Branden Grace grew up in the seaside town of George and played at Fancourt as a youngster. There he learned the tricks of playing links golf and this week at Royal Troon he’ll put those lessons to good use.
‘You need to know what type of shot you can hit, and I’ve got a couple in the bank that I like to hit when the pressure gets up. I can hit a low drive that runs through to about 300 yards. It depends on the day, but this is not the longest of golf courses and I feel comfortable playing aggressive golf,’ he said on Monday.
The world number 10 broke onto the PGA Tour at the RBC Heritage earlier this season and has been in major contention several times, most recently sharing fifth place at the US Open at Oakmont Country Club.
His rise into the top echelon of professional golf has allowed Grace to settle into his role as world beater.
‘It’s been phenomenal. That was something I had to get on the books – the first W in The States – it’s been great since. I can sit back and enjoy golf a bit. I can also plan and work around the majors. Hopefully I’ll be able to win one soon,’ he said.
His ability play in stiff breezes and change his game for links golf will be crucial in Scotland this week. It will come as no surprise if the 28-year-old contends for the title on Sunday.
‘The simple things can fade in the wind, but I hit the ball pretty low as it is, a lot lower than the normal guy out there. Fortunately we have a links back home and I like that style of play. I’m very fond of visualising and hitting different shots,’ he concluded.