This week’s player profile introduces golf fans to South Africa’s Branden Grace, back-to-back winner of the 2012 Joburg Open and Volvo World Champions on the European Tour.
Born in 1988 in the city of Pretoria, South Africa, Branden Grace took to the game of golf from a young age. Growing up in South Africa, a country known for its sport culture and for producing excellent golfers despite its relatively small number of golf courses, Grace found great inspiration in the generation of South African golf champions who came before him such as Ernie Els and Retief Goosen.
After completing his high school education, Grace turned professional at the end of 2007. A former member of the Ernie Els Foundation, an organisation created by Ernie Els to further the careers of talented young golfers, Grace made his debut on the Sunshine Tour, a local golf tour in South Africa.
After weathering his first two professional seasons and honing his skills on some of South Africa’s most challenging golf courses, Grace made his breakthrough in 2010 when he won the Coca-Cola Charity Championship. In 2011 he went through the European Tour’s qualifying school and secured a place in the Tour for the 2012 season. With the season only at its start, Grace has burst onto the scene as a force to be reckoned with.
Last week, Grace won the Joburg Open, a tournament which forms part of the European Tour’s South Africa leg. Beating Britain’s Jamie Elson by a single stroke, Grace made a name for himself on the international golf circuit and won praise from his former mentor Ernie Els.
On Sunday, Grace became the sixth player ever to win two European Tour events back-to-back when he won the Volvo World Champions tournament, beating none other than Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in an exciting playoff. Golf fans can look forward to many more exciting moments from this talented young player as he plays his debut season on the European Tour.
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