PGA Tour

'This changes everything', says Branden Grace after emotional PGA Tour win

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South African golfer Branden Grace wins Puerto Rico Open
South African golfer Branden Grace wins Puerto Rico Open
Andy Lyons/Getty Images/ AFP
  • Branden Grace sealed his second PGA Tour victory at this past weekend's Puerto Rico Open.
  • Grace shot an eagle and birdie to seal a one-shot victory at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Rio Grande.
  • His win, which was inspired by his late father, saw him earn a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and entry to major events.

South African golfer Branden Grace sealed an emotional victory on the PGA Tour on Sunday as he lifted the Puerto Rico Open title.

Grace fired a bogey-free final round 66 to seal a one-shot victory at the Grand Reserve Golf Club.

Making his Puerto Rico Open debut, Grace holed out from a bunker for an eagle two on the 17th before making a birdie on the last to seal victory on 19-under par.

The win on Sunday comes five weeks after losing his father, Peter, to complications associated with Covid-19 in January. 

"I spoke to my mom this morning and my wife told me my dad's with me, he's watching over me, he'll give me the guidance I need and he did," said a visibly emotional Grace.

This was Grace's first win since the January 2020 SA Open and only his second PGA Tour title in his 149th PGA Tour start.

This win saw Grace earn a two-year exemption to the PGA Tour, taking him through to the 2022-23 season.

He made a massive leap in the Official World Golf Rankings as he jumped 64 places - from 147th to 83rd.

The 32-year-old also pocketed a whopping $540 000 (R8 million) for his efforts and collected 300 FedEx Cup points - putting him 42nd on the FedEx Cup standings.

Grace also earned a spot in this year's PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort's Ocean Course. In 2020, Grace only played in one (US Open) of the three Major golf tournaments after failing to qualify for the PGA Championship and the Masters.

If not otherwise exempt, Grace also booked his spot in the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational, 2021 The Players Championship, 2021 the Memorial Tournament and 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions.

"This changes everything," Grace told the PGA Tour following his win on Sunday.

"The last couple of weeks I have actually been playing nicely. I have started heading in the right direction. I played well at Pebble Beach... It gave me a lot of confidence coming into this week and it just changes everything.

"Now I can pick again for a while and I can get a lot of the big stuff, and move up the world rankings. That's where I want to be and competing against the big boys."

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