Branden Grace ready to challenge for Majors as golf's top three show next generation the way

Sam Torrance
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Commercial Bank Qatar Masters - Day Four
Grace became the first man to successfully defend the Qatar Masters title (Source: Getty)

It must be so inspiring for young players nowadays to see that the top three in men’s golf – Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy – are all still in their 20s.

The game is not being dominated by an old guard, by the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson; Spieth, Day and McIlroy are kids, and it must make others think: “If they can do it, then so can I.”

I know that would have really boosted me if I were in the early stages of my career, and perhaps it has also contributed to the blossoming of South Africa’s best new talent, Branden Grace.

Grace won the seventh European Tour title of his nascent career on Saturday at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, and his most recent results suggested that it had been coming.

The 27-year-old had finished in the top five of six of his last eight tournaments before arriving in Doha, where he became the first man to successfully defend the title.

Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello had a very good week to tie for second with another player I like, the Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, while England’s Andrew Johnston finished well a further shot behind.

But Grace played immaculately and looked very much in control on his way to a two-shot win. He mastered the blustery conditions and always seemed to make another birdie when a rival got close.

I love his game. He has a wonderful swing and putts beautifully, plus he has a calm head on his shoulders. Nothing seems to faze him.

He could have won a first Major last year at the US Open, where he shared the lead going into the final round and right up until the 16th hole, only for one bad shot to cost him a double bogey.

Grace is a class act, though, and a fine successor to the likes of countryman Louis Oosthuizen, the former Open champion.

He finished tied for fourth at the US Open in the end, and was then third at the US PGA Championship. I fully expect him to challenge for more Majors this year; he is certainly among the main contenders outside that top three.

Finally, there was a fantastic result for 24-year-old South Korean Song Young-Han, who held off none other than Spieth on Monday to win his very first professional title at the Singapore Open.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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