What a difference a year makes.
Twelve months ago, Branden Grace was mired in relative golf anonymity, attempting to gain status on the European Tour. After four wins during his rookie campaign, the South African now enters the season-ending DP World Tour Championship as one of the biggest names in the field.
'This time last year, I was heading to tour school - that seems so far away now,' he explained to reporters while preparing for this week's event. 'It has been a great year ... a dream come true.'
After two early-season wins in his native South Africa, Grace notched a third victory at the China Open, one that he described as a turning point for his 2012 campaign.
'I really wanted to win outside South Africa because there was a lot of stuff written suggesting I might only win on home turf,' noted Grace, who also won the Dunhill Links in Scotland last month. 'Now I think I can really play and I'm looking forward to what's to come.'
Grace also attributed a good relationship with 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen as a key to his success this year.
'I'm a very close mate with Louis,' he explained. 'He has definitely been showing me the ropes and giving me advice that might help me.'
Grace also shed light on a friendly competition that took place between the two countrymen, who combined for six wins this year on the European Tour.
'After his win at the Africa Open in January, he said, 'Listen, you're falling behind and have to catch up',' Grace explained. 'Then when I won for the third time I said, 'Now you're falling behind'.'