South Africa’s Branden Grace cruised to victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club. He finished seven shots clear of his countryman Louis Oosthuizen.

South Africa’s Branden Grace cruised to victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club. He finished seven shots clear of his countryman Louis Oosthuizen.

Grace was five shots clear after 36 holes, but a third round of 72 allowed the chasing pack back into the tournament. Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard was Grace’s closest challenger with one round to play, just a single shot behind.

In round four, Grace quickly extended his lead when Bjerregaard bogeyed the first hole. Grace then birdied the second to further increase his advantage. It turned out to be a disastrous day for the Dane. He suffered a triple bogey at the par-3 7th and that triggered a run of figures a 15 handicapper would have been embarrassed by. He came home in 50 strokes to post a 17-over-par 89.

Grace meanwhile kept his ship steady and he posted an excellent closing round of 68 to win his fifth European Tour event. He is the first player to have won both the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

“It’s special to win it wire-to-wire, more so because it’s in front of a local crowd. It was a pretty flawless round today and the perfect way to finish off an incredible tournament – a great week in the office,” he said. “It’s been a long year, a hard, year but now it’s a fairytale ending just before Christmas.”

Nedbank Championship winner Danny Willett was Grace’s closest challenger for much of the final round, but he dropped six shots in his last three holes to fall back into a tie for fourth place.

In the end it was 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen who finished alone in second. He fired a three-under-par 69 to end the week seven behind Grace and two ahead of England’s Andrew Johnston in third.

Alfred Dunhill Championship
Leopard Creek Country Club, Malelane, South Africa
Dec 11-14, purse €1,500,000, par 72

1    Branden Grace (RSA)    62    66    72    68    268    €237,750
2    Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)    69    69    68    69    275    €172,500
3    Andrew Johnston (Eng)    69    67    68    73    277    €103,800
T4    Trevor Fisher Jnr (RSA)    73    67    69    69    278    €67,800
T4    Danny Willett (Eng)    66    69    67    76    278    €67,800
T6    David Drysdale (Sco)    71    68    71    69    279    €48,675
T6    Francesco Molinari (Ita)    68    65    70    76    279    €48,675
T8    Shaun Norris (RSA)    68    67    73    72    280    €32,900
T8    Thomas Pieters (Bel)    71    71    68    70    280    €32,900
T8    Tjaart Van der Walt (RSA) 67 67    75    71    280    €32,900

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage