Branden Grace is taking his time, staying calm and keeping things simple; and it’s working as he stormed into the lead at the halfway mark of the Volvo Golf Champions at the Fancourt Links on Friday.
Grace fired a superb seven-under-par 66 on Friday to take a four-shot lead over England’s Lee Slattery and South African Thomas Aiken into the weekend, continuing his wonderful form after claiming the Joburg Open title last weekend.
“It’s been good, an amazing start to the year. I just feel really calm, which is a big relief and it’s nice to keep the nerves down. It’s great to be able to just go out there and play golf.
“I’ve changed my routines a bit: I used to be a very quick player, but I’m taking my time now, sticking to what I’ve decided to hit and keeping things as simple as possible. I’m just sticking to my game plan and minding my own business,” Grace said on Friday.
The 23-year-old lives in George and is therefore extremely familiar with the Fancourt Links, but Grace said he likes to keep the course for special occasions, like when he really wants to give his game a stern test.
“I only played here three or four times last year because it can hit your self-esteem! Mostly I come here just before I go to Europe and if I shoot under par then I know I’m ready to go. I play off the furthest tees and fire for the pins where they are really tucked away,” Grace explained.
“Today I hit the ball unbelievably well and in the right spots. On this course, you really need to drive well and, even though I missed a lot of fairways, they were just off and my iron-play was superb.
“Mentally I feel good and although the body has a few aches and pains, the physios are keeping me running. I’m just running with the momentum,” Grace said.
It looks increasingly as if Grace’s Joburg Open triumph was indeed a breakthrough win and the Race to Dubai leader is starting to fulfil his undoubted potential.