Grace ready for Major step-up

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The eight-birdie, bogey-free assault on the course laid down by the 27-year-old Fancourt golfer vaulted the player into a tie for third on 12 under par. Grace lies just three behind Aussie leader Jason Day going into the final round.

Grace was paired in the final group at the US Open with eventual champion American Jordan Spieth in June, but a tee shot out of bounds with three holes to play cost the South African a shot at the Major title.

Now Grace is in with a great chance again, this time, with the experience of having been in contention on the back nine on the Sunday of a Major.

“I’m as excited as can be. It’s another chance, this is what we all play for,” said Grace after his round.

“We all play to give ourselves the opportunity to get close to a Major Championship and we’re all here, and the top guys are all here, for the same reason, we want to win this thing. It’s just getting out tomorrow, getting out on the first tee with a smile and hopefully the smile can be there all day.”

The big-hitting Grace capped off his round three effort in fine style by holing his bunker shot at the last hole, after he had misjudged his approach.

“To finish off like that was spectacular. It was a great bunker shot and walking up there you think, geez, just get lucky with the lie.

“I just didn’t really think of making the shot. It was such a tough bunker shot, just trying to get it on the green and to feed it close. I managed to hit the perfect bunker shot.”

The grind of Major championships was something the six-time European Tour winner was beginning to take in his stride.

“It was a tough day, long day, but it feels pretty good. Ball striking was good. Got out of the blocks pretty well, and then I think the main key today was the driving. I don’t know how many fairways I missed, but it wasn’t a lot. Any time I did hit the fairway, I hit it quite a good distance up there to give myself a chance with the wedges. And I managed to hit the majority of them in a decent fair amount of feet and managed to make some good putts which was a big help.”

The next best South African on the leaderboard was George Coetzee who signed for a third round 70 to get to seven-under, tied 13th. Charl Schwartzel was a further stroke adrift on six-under following a 68 on day three to end in a share of 17th.

Ernie Els fired his best round of the week with a 69 to rise to five-under in 24th place. Louis Oosthuizen, carded his second 72 of the week to remain on one under down in 52nd spot.

– ANA

Original source: Grace ready for Major step-up

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