South Africa’s Branden Grace shot a superb final round of 66 on Sunday to win the RBC Heritage event at Harbour Town. Grace finished on nine-under-par as he defeated overnight leader Luke Donald and Russell Knox by two shots.
The 27-year-old began three shots adrift but he birdied the first two holes during his final round to move within one of Donald. Grace gave a shot back on the fifth following a three putt bogey but quickly made amends with further gains on the fourth and fifth as he surged into a tie for the lead.
Donald and Knox mixed birdies with bogeys around the turn, which enabled Grace to open up a lead with further back-to-back birdies. Grace eventually set the clubhouse target after a succession of solid pars and was eventually crowned champion after Donald was unable to find the birdies he needed to force a playoff over the closing stretch.
The victory is Grace’s first on the PGA Tour and the second tournament win this year following his triumph in the European Tour Qatar Masters. The world number 14 is hoping his successful week is the start of a hot run of form as he targets glory in the upcoming majors during the summer.
“I played some flawless golf, even with two bogeys, but it was a tough day out there and you just had to grind it out,” Grace said afterwards. “This is pretty much where it (form) started last year for me, as I had my first top-10 here on the PGA Tour last year and then it just kicked off. I was in a really good frame of mind coming into this event and I’m now excited to see how the year turns out.”
Bryson DeChambeau finished in a tie for fourth alongside Kevin Na as he began his professional career in style. The 22-year-old shot a final round of 68 for a five-under total.