Rapids

Do­minique Badji’s goal ral­lies Rapids to 1-1 tie with Toronto FC

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Doug Fer­gu­son

SOUTH­PORT, ENG­LAND» Bran­den Grace posted the low­est 18hole score in 157 years and 422 ma­jor cham­pi­onships, and he didn’t even know it.

He knocked in his short par putt on the fi­nal hole at Royal Birk­dale for a 62 when his cad­die, Zack Rasego, walked up to him and said, “You’re in the his­tory books.”

Grace didn’t know what he meant.

The 29-year-old South African was so locked in on a flaw­less round Satur­day at the Bri­tish Open that he wasn’t even aware of the scor­ing record. Grace was only think­ing about try­ing to get through the third round with­out a bogey.

“I had no idea that a 62 was ob­vi­ously the low­est ever,” Grace said. “Now it makes it even more spe­cial than what it was.”

Grace pounced on a serene day that was ideal for scor­ing at Royal Birk­dale with a 29 on the front nine. And af­ter a lull to start the back nine, he re­sumed his march with a 36-foot birdie putt on the par-3 14th, a birdie putt from just in­side 30 feet on No. 16 and then moved to 8un­der on his round by hit­ting a 3-iron onto the green at the par-5 17th for a two-putt birdie.

From about 60 feet be­hind the 18th green, he rolled a beau­ti­ful lag to 2 feet and tapped in for the record.

Johnny Miller shot his fa­mous 63 in the fi­nal round at Oak­mont in 1973 to win the U.S. Open. Since then, 28 play­ers posted a 63 in the ma­jors 30 times, most re­cently by Justin Thomas in the U.S. Open last month at Erin Hills.

No one ever got lower — un­til Grace.

“Look at that num­ber! That is sweet,” Miller, now a golf an­a­lyst, said as NBC flashed a 62 on the screen.

With his name in the record book, still to be de­ter­mined was whether he had a chance to add his name to the claret jug. Grace, who made the cut by one shot, fin­ished at 4-un­der 206. He was two shots be­hind Texan Jor­dan Spi­eth, who was on the range still warm­ing up when Grace fin­ished.

Spi­eth shot a 65, how­ever, and the day ended with Grace seven shots out of the lead.

Grace wasn’t the only player to take ad­van­tage of the nice day. Fif­teen play­ers shot a 66 or bet­ter. Dustin John­son missed an 8foot birdie putt on the 16th and failed to birdie the par-5 17th from the fair­way and still shot a 64.

“You still have to do it out there,” said Grace, who said par felt more like 67 than 70 be­cause of the light wind and turf that was on the soft side. “There’s a lot of spots you want to keep out of on this golf course. And I did it to­day. So just for­tu­nate the way things fin­ished.”

Ben Stansall, Getty Images

South Africa’s Bran­den Grace, 29, re­acts af­ter mak­ing par on the 18th hole and post­ing a thir­dround 62 at the Bri­tish Open on Satur­day at Royal Birk­dale.

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