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Gotta Have Heart

by Mike Purkey

You have to wonder, don’t you, just what to make of South Africa’s Branden Grace. On Saturday, he posted his sixth victory on the European Tour by winning the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

Six victories at age 26 puts him in the conversation as being among the best young players on this tour. Granted, most of the wins have come against fields that weren’t the strongest but as the great Bobby Jones once said, you can only beat those who turn up to be beaten. And his second victory came in 2012 in a playoff against the great Ernie Els and Retief Goosen.

So, where to place Grace? Six wins is six wins and is terribly impressive. But until he makes any noise whatever at the major championships and the BMW PGA, he will continue to be a young man who is considered quite good but not quite great.

In the American desert, the heartwarming story from the Humana Challenge would have been a victory by Erik Compton, who’s had his heart replaced twice but has never lost the heart that lies much deeper down inside him.

Instead, the California desert gave us Bill Haas, who played last year with a broken wrist that might have broken his heart just a little. Haas won the Humana for the second time, which certainly did his heart good.

Haas’ victory goes a long way toward helping him to make this year’s Presidents Cup team, captained, coincidentally, by his father, Jay.

Meanwhile, some questions linger: Is Tiger’s tooth telling a false one? How wobbly is Robert Allenby’s story? And is Dustin Johnson’s “problem” really solved?

And would you rather have heart or grace?

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