Branden Grace sets major championship record with 62 at British Open

In the 442nd major championship, Grace on Saturday achieved what the greats of the game could not in 157 years of trying and cracked the previous best of 63, which had been achieved 31 times.

He played, as he was not shy of acknowledging, "flawless golf", missing a mere two fairways and two greens all day. "Now it makes it even more special than what it was".

"There are low scores out there and people are not making mistakes".

South Africa's Branden Grace moved firmly into contention at the British Open on Saturday with his record-breaking third round of 62.

On the 18th, Grace calmly two-putted for par to secure the first 62 in major history.

A year ago, Henrik Stenson shot 63 in the final round to win The Open at Royal Troon, and Phil Mickelson shot a first-round 63 on his way to finishing second. On NBC, Jim "Bones" Mackay, in his first stint as a regular announcer, said to Dan Hicks, "Dan, I gotta tell ya, don't tell Johnny I said this, but there's a 62 out there today". He moved to 8-under par for the round with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 17th, and then wrapped up the record with a attractive lag from behind the 18th green to 2 feet.

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"Let's get this out of the way: I didn't know what was going on on 18, I promise you, " Grace said.

Grace took some of the blame for his struggles, citing the tinkering nature of golfers. Having holed a monstrously long birdie putt at the 16th, he picked up another shot at the par-five 17th to lay his platform for history. Robert Streb shot 63 during the second round at last year's PGA Championship.

Grace's 2017 Open campaign had not started perfectly with two bogeys in the first four holes but he bounced back to finish with an even-par 70. "Twenty-eight putts is quite a few putts to shoot 62", Miller said of Grace's round.

Jack Nicklaus also tweeted out his congratuations to Grace. He missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and had to settle for a 63.

A further 21 players have shot 63 at The Masters, US Open and US PGA Championship.

  • Tabitha Byrd