It was the first time in history, a major feat, but Branden Grace was so into his golf game that he didn’t realize he was about to do something that no other golfer has ever done while playing a major championship game. Branden Grace shot a 62 at the 146th Open, in Southport, England.
The 29-year-old from South Africa said that while it turned out to be a “special day,” he had no idea “today was the lowest, at all.” The lowest round in the history of golf in a major championship is what Branden meant by the “lowest of all.” He said his thoughts were on “trying to finish the round without a bogey.” So what did Grace do?
According to Golf.com, Brandon “became the first player in major-championship history to shoot a sub-63 round, when he brushed in a 3-foot par putt on the 18th hole for an 8-under 62.” Golfers know this is a big deal, but for those who don’t follow golf, a score of 63 has only been accomplished a total of 31 times in the game of golf for the 157 years that majors have been played. As the Golf.com site reports, a 62 has been one of the games of golf’s “most unbreakable barriers.”
Jack Nicklaus once said that it would happen some day when he looked ahead to the future of golf, he knew it was inevitable, according to ESPN. “It just hasn’t happened, but it will. It used to be 64. Then it became 63. And it will become 62,” said Nicklaus.
The 31 times that someone has shot a 63 in a major was accomplished by 29 people, with Greg Norman and Vijay Singh each shooting a 63 game twice in their careers. Last month was the most recent out of those 31 times. That was accomplished at the U.S. Open by Justin Thomas. He shot a 63 at Erin Hills.
While Brandon’s game was a jaw-dropper in the world of golf on Saturday, he wasn’t worried about going for that record at the time he made that final shot. After all the hoopla about the record-breaking shot, he told reporters that he wasn’t aware he was about to go after this feat because he was all consumed by his golf game in Southport. He then said, ” Sometimes it helps not knowing these things.”
While coming in with a 62 in a major wasn’t done until Brandon did it this weekend, there were a few near misses in the past. Back in 1980 at the U.S. Open, one of the big names in golf “blew a three-footer on the final hole for 62,” according to Golf.com.” That was Jack Nicklaus in the opening round.
Tiger Woods once referred to his 2007 PGA Championship score as “62-and-a-half” after hitting a 16-foot putt on the final hole in the second round for the ball to hit the edge of the cup and spin out. Phil Mickelson was another golfer to blow his chance at a 62.
This happened last year at the British Open in the first round when Phil’s 18-foot putt left him missing that chance and leaving him a bit sad. He told reporters later, “I wanted to cry.” Apparently, it wasn’t in the cards for any of the past greats, but it was in the cards for Branden Grace today and to think he was too busy avoiding a bogie to know what he was on the cusp of accomplishing.
[Feature Image by Charlie Riedel/AP Images]