Grace flies SA flag high at Open Championship

Branden Grace (AP)
Branden Grace (AP)

Cape Town - Branden Grace was South Africa's best performing golfer at this past weekend's Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.

Grace shot a level-par 70 on Sunday to finish with an four-under-par score of 276 for the tournament.

He finished tied for sixth spot and was eight shots behind eventual champion Jordan Spieth of America, who claimed his third major title.

Grace failed to repeat his spectacular third-round performance, where he became the first man to shoot a round of 62 in a major.

The South African's eight-under-par round on Saturday featured eight birdies and no dropped shots - this saw Grace rocket up the leaderboard to four-under-par heading into the final round.

READ: SA's Grace rewrites history books, shoots 62

"I'm stoked, it's the best finish I've had at an Open Championship," he told reporters after his final round.

"This week has been such a bonus with being in the history books, so I knew I could just go out there whether it's good or bad.

"If you told me after making the cut, you're going to finish tied sixth I would have taken it.

"So for me there's a lot of positives to take from this week," added Grace.

"I'm really looking forward to the next one, I know I got that low one in me, especially in these big events and I'm looking forward to the PGA Championship."

Two-time Open champion Ernie Els was the second best South African in the field, finishing 61st with a five-over-par 285.

2010 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Shaun Norris, who made his Open debut, both finished tied for 62nd spot with six-over-par 286s, while Brandon Stone finished tied for 70th with a seven-over-par 287 for the tournament.

The other South Africans taking part in the event - former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, Darren Fichardt, Jbe' Kruger and Dylan Frittelli - all failed to make the cut for the final two rounds.

Scores from the final round of the 146th British Open at Royal Birkdale on Sunday (par 70; GBR/IRL unless stated; a-denotes amateur):

268 - Jordan Spieth (USA) 65-69-65-69

271 - Matt Kuchar (USA) 65-71-66-69

274 - Li Haotong (CHN) 69-73-69-63

275 - Rory McIlroy 71-68-69-67, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 67-73-67-68

276 - Brooks Koepka (USA) 65-72-68-71, Alex Noren (SWE) 68-72-69-67, Marc Leishman (AUS) 69-76-66-65, Branden Grace (RSA) 70-74-62-70, Matthew Southgate 72-72-67-65

277 - Chan Kim (USA) 72-68-67-70, Paul Casey 66-77-67-67, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 69-73-65-70

278 - Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 68-72-66-72, Chris Wood 71-72-68-67, Jason Dufner (USA) 73-71-66-68, Zach Johnson (USA) 75-66-71-66, Ian Poulter 67-70-71-70, Austin Connelly (CAN) 67-72-66-73

279 - Charley Hoffman (USA) 67-73-72-67, Xander Schauffele (USA) 69-75-70-65

280 - Richard Bland 67-72-70-71, Richie Ramsay 68-70-70-72, Adam Scott (AUS) 69-74-70-67, Rickie Fowler (USA) 71-71-67-71, Jamie Lovemark (USA) 71-69-70-70

281 - Jason Day (Aus) 69-76-65-71, Andrew Johnston 69-74-67-71, Bubba Watson (USA) 68-72-71-70, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 70-73-68-70, Tony Finau (USA) 70-73-67-71, Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 69-76-72-64, Daniel Berger (USA) 68-76-70-67, David Drysdale 72-73-66-70, Tommy Fleetwood 76-69-66-70, Lee Westwood 71-74-69-67

282 - Steve Stricker (USA) 70-72-69-71, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 71-71-72-68, Laurie Canter 70-72-72-68, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 73-69-68-72, Russell Henley (USA) 70-70-75-67, Martin Kaymer (GER) 72-72-70-68, Webb Simpson (USA) 71-74-70-67

283 - Ross Fisher 70-72-66-75, Joost Luiten (NED) 68-72-70-73, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 69-75-69-70, Kevin Na (USA) 68-75-68-72, Kang Sung-Hoon (KOR) 68-73-76-66, Peter Uihlein (USA) 72-72-69-70, Chang Yi-Keun (KOR) 71-71-71-70, Jon Rahm (ESP) 69-74-70-70, Matthew Fitzpatrick 69-73-68-73, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 69-75-68-71

284 - Dustin Johnson (USA) 71-72-64-77, Scott Hend (AUS) 71-74-65-74, J.B. Holmes (USA) 71-72-71-70, Justin Rose 71-74-69-70, Toby Tree 70-75-69-70, Jimmy Walker (USA) 72-72-70-70, Kevin Kisner (USA) 70-71-74-69

285 - Ernie Els (RSA) 68-73-70-74

286 - Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 75-70-70-71, K.T. Kim (KOR) 73-71-69-73, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 66-78-71-71, Shaun Norris (RSA) 71-74-65-76, Sean O'Hair (USA) 72-73-71-70, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 70-72-74-70, Song Young-Han (KOR) 71-74-69-72, a-Alfie Plant 71-73-69-73

287 - Andy Sullivan 70-75-69-73, Brandon Stone (RSA) 73-72-68-74, Gary Woodland (USA) 70-69-74-74, Joseph Dean 72-72-70-73

288 - James Hahn (USA) 68-76-70-74, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 69-75-71-73

289 - Danny Willett 71-74-73-71

290 - Kent Bulle (USA) 68-72-74-76

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