• Grace, Van Rooyen to mix it with the best

    Branden Grace
    Brandon Grace at the SA Open.

    Branden Grace and Erik van Rooyen form part of a trio of South Africans in the field this week at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera.

    Grace, who won his first national championship in January after claiming a top five at Leopard Creek to close out 2019, is building up a steady run of form despite missing the mark at Pebble Beach last week. Before that, he produced a top 20 in Abu Dhabi before linking back with the PGA TOUR at the Waste Management Phoenix Open where he finished inside the top 10.

    He will be looking to produce another strong showing in an event that will offer rich reward and rankings points with nine of the world’s top 10 in attendance. The course should suit his game and the South Africans in general after he remarked that the track and grass reminds him of kikuyu back home.

    Grace starts as the world’s 70th-best player, 20 spots behind Erik van Rooyen. He is joined by Americans Bud Cauley and Nick Watney for the first 36 holes.

    Van Rooyen is looking to play as often as he can in US conditions ahead of his Masters debut in April. The Scandinavian Invitation winner missed the cut in Saudi Arabia after performing in Abu Dhabi where he shared 11th place.┬áHe starts the first two rounds alongside Kiwi Danny Lee and Canada’s Roger Sloan.

    Also in the field this week is Dylan Frittelli, who won the John Deere Classic, who is paired with Rory Sabbatini and impressive rising star Matthew Wolff.

    Frittelli, now 118th, has had a slow start to the season as he looks to re-enter the top 100 in the world.

    Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

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