Cape Town – Branden Grace celebrated his 30th birthday on Sunday with a third-place finish – tying his lowest round on the PGA Tour – at the Byron Nelson tournament in Texas.
Grace was playing in his first tournament since the birth of his son – Roger – who was born on April 25.
The South African shot nine-under 62 in the final round to finish tied for third-place alongside Keith Mitchell and JJ Spaun – four strokes adrift of .
Grace‘s other career-low round came at the 2017 Open Championship where he fired an eight-under 62, the lowest round ever in a major.
The result saw Grace leapfrog compatriot Louis Oosthuizen in the to reclaim SA‘s No 1 spot – moving from 36th to 33rd.
“It‘s a great birthday present. It was fun,” Grace told the .
“Obviously it was a great day, things didn‘t look too good at the start… With a little of imagination, little bit of luck here and there. You get more luck on the links golf course than maybe on a normal golf course.”
On Monday, the top 60 in the official world golf rankings automatically qualified for June‘s 118th US Open at Shinnecock Hills in New York.
Four South Africans qualified for next month‘s major – Grace (33), Oosthuizen (36), Charl Schwartzel (43) and Dylan Frittelli (57).
Two-time US Open champion Ernie Els received a special exemption into the tournament.