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Branden Grace looking for bigger prizes

April 19, 2016

Branden Grace could not wait to win on the PGA Tour. And now he's looking for more - much more.

The 27-year-old South African rallied past Luke Donald at the RBC Heritage on Sunday for his 11th victory worldwide, but first on tour. He says the win gives him security and confidence that he can compete for the top trophies in the game, starting in June at the U.S. Open.

Grace outplayed a field the week following the Masters that included the world's top-ranked player in Jason Day, the PGA Championship winner, and another major titleist from last year in British Open champ Zach Johnson.

Grace accomplished it by overcoming a steady professional and five-time tour winner in Donald, who's probably the modern master at Harbour Town Golf Links with four seconds and two thirds here the past eight events.

''I'm excited,'' Grace said. ''This was the next hurdle, to try and get a win under the belt on the PGA Tour. And now that I have, I know I can win out here. I'm excited to get to the U.S. Open.''

Grace was in the mix for that crown a year ago, leading three holes from the end until he blocked his drive right - and out of bounds. That led to a double bogey and Grace finishing fourth behind winner Jordan Spieth.

Two months later, Grace was contending at Whistling Straits, site of the PGA Championship after a third-round 64 left him three behind Day. Grace wound up third.

It looks like Grace is ready to do what he must to compete with the world's best. Used to a hectic worldwide schedule, he said he's purchased a home in Florida to lock in a base for the PGA Tour.

''This really kind of gets you in the mood to settle down a little bit and just step into gear whenever you can,'' he said.





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