Branden Grace shot to the summit of the Race to Dubai after securing his ninth European Tour triumph with a spellbinding final round 62 to hold off defending Champion Louis Oosthuizen and win the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg.
The home favourites could not be separated as they made the turn but Brandon Grace reeled off four consecutive birdies from the 11th to seize the initiative and secure a three-stroke victory over his fellow countryman, which also secured his spot in The Open Championship.
“That was remarkable,” said Brandon Grace, who picks up 335 Race to Dubai points to jump from seventh to first in the Rankings. “I played flawless golf and I can’t remember the last time the putter was that hot.
“This is the one I really wanted. This means so much to any South African, winning on home soil, the guys get so behind you and it’s such an emotional feeling.
“It’s the first win with the little one here so he’s going to have a photo with the trophy and then it’s a good birthday wish to my missus today, she’s a birthday girl today so it’s a good birthday present.”
Oosthuizen, who sent the huge crowds at Randpark Golf Club wild with a hole-in-one on the eighth, collects 222 Race to Dubai points with his runner-up finish which sees him enter the Rankings in sixth.
Marcus Armitage and Jaco Ahlers finished third and fourth respectively in South Africa which saw both men book their spot in The Open Championship alongside Grace with Armitage also climbing up to 12th from 75th in the Race to Dubai.
Jack Senior finished alongside Ahlers in fourth but was edged out for an Open Championship spot by virtue of being eight places lower than Ahlers in the Official World Golf Ranking. After securing 92 Race to Dubai points, the Englishman moved up to 14th from 59th in the Rankings.
The European Tour now travels to Abu Dhabi for the start of the ‘Desert Swing’ with the Rolex Series’ Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA kicking things off this Thursday (17th). The Omega Dubai Desert Classic follows the week after before the Tour heads to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the second edition of the Saudi International powered by SBIA.
The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 19-22, 2020 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest first prize in world tournament golf.