Grace rallies for first U.S. win at RBC Heritage


Branden Grace has already won seven times on the European Tour, but now the South African can add PGA Tour champion to his credentials. Here's how things ended up at the RBC Heritage, where Grace rallied for a two-shot victory:

Leaderboard: Branden Grace (-9), Luke Donald (-7), Russell Knox (-7), Bryson DeChambeau (-5), Kevin Na (-5)

What it means: Grace started the day three shots behind Donald, but he quickly surged up the standings with birdies on four of his first six holes. The 27-year-old challenged Jordan Spieth last summer at the U.S. Open and went 5-0 last fall at the Presidents Cup, but now he has a victory in the U.S. to his credit - a win that brings with it a two-year exemption.

Round of the day: Aussie John Senden failed to break 70 in each of the first three rounds, but he broke that streak in a big way with a final-round 65. Senden birdied three of his first six holes before adding three more from Nos. 11-15, and after playing most of the week near the cut line he left Hilton Head with a T-23 finish.

Best of the rest: Grace birdied each of his first two holes, and after another birdie on No. 9 he made the turn in 4-under 32. He added two more circles coming home and, one year after leaning on his short game en route to a T-7 finish at Harbour Town Golf Links, Grace mixed accurate wedge play with a couple of clutch up-and-downs to shoot 66 and snag the tartan jacket.

Biggest disappointment: It was another close call for Donald at Harbour Town, as the Englishman has now finished T-3 or better six times since 2009 without winning. He began the day with a one-shot lead but failed to make a single birdie over the closing nine holes, shooting an even-par 71 to extend his PGA Tour victory drought that dates back to the 2012 Valspar Championship.

Shot of the day: Grace bogeyed No. 17 to trim his advantage to two shots, but he stepped to the final tee and belted a 312-yard bomb that split the fairway. It was the longest drive all week on the signature hole, and it set up an easy closing par that secured victory for Grace.

Quote of the day: "This is pretty much where my year kicked off last year. This put me on the map a little bit, finished top-10...I was really amped to get back to this place." - Grace