23 July, 2017
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. "But it makes it more special now, especially to be in the history books at a place like this".
Grace will find himself teeing off in one of the later pairs come Sunday when anything can happen, and as fans who remember the finale of last year's Open Championship well know.
Branden Grace became the first player to shoot 62 in a major championship, going 8 under par over the par-70 Royal Birkdale course Saturday to move ahead of all the 63s in the record book.
The golfers had the benefit of good weather and a course that had been softened by heavy rains the day before, allowing golfers to better hold the greens with their approach shots. Last month, Justin Thomas tied the record for lowest score in relation to par with his 63 at the U.S. Open.
The world No 35 said he had been completely unaware of that until it was pointed out to him by his caddie, Zack Rasego, after he'd kept his nerve to hole a two-foot par putt at the last.
"I was just so in the zone of playing, hole after hole". He was two shots behind Jordan Spieth, who was on the range still warming up.
In-form Fleetwood used to sneak into Birkdale as a boy
"I thought if I could make a couple more on the back nine, then it's going to be a great score".
Grace's record round stands out in part because of the sheer peculiarity of the near-62 misses.
Grace wasn't the only player to take advantage. 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.
Tiger Woods had a vicious lip-out in his bid for 62 in the second round of the 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
Spieth's playing partner, fellow American Matt Kuchar, had a more eventful start with two birdies and a bogey in his first four holes leaving him five-under.
"My main thing was not wanting to finish with a bogey".
England's Ian Poulter, runner-up here to Padraig Harrington in 2008, and current US Open champion Brooks Koepka are both three-under. The first of whom was Johnny Miller, who carded a 63 in the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont. But the 18th hole provided some drama.
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