Branden Grace rolls into 2017 at the Tournament of Champions, which he qualified for with a victory at the RBC Heritage last March. There’s no doubt that Fancourt’s top golfer has the goods to win a major soon, but his first goal will be shaking off the rust.
At the start of 2016 he had top-fives at two majors and wanted to secure his place on the world stage with a PGA Tour victory. This week he’s in a different space, tried and tested after a season in the USA. The 28 year old has posted top 20s at all four majors, won a PGA Tour event, and recently got married.
Life is good, but golf is a fickle mistress. Grace needs to keep his head down in Hawaii this week, where six of the world’s top 10 are set to compete.
Jason Day is there, along with Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, while Patrick Reed and Hideki Matsuyama round off the favourites.
They’re regular rivals for Grace, who reached the top 10 in the world ranking (and adjusted to it) faster than expected back in 2015. He is currently 17th in the ranking and will undoubtedly want to crack the single digits soon.
This week’s $6.1-million tournament is a ripe chance to move upward, because top players improve the ranking points on offer.
Grace finished 41st in the FedEx Cup last year after posting a tied-32nd result at the BMW Championship, which was the penultimate event of The Playoffs.
He’s under less pressure in the new year, both on and off the course, which means a victory could come from nowhere, as they often do for the young prodigy.
The cameras will be on other players at Kapalua Resort this week, but that’s normally when Grace takes his wins, unexpectedly and without warning.
You may also like