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Grace garners third win of the season

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Branden Grace won for the third time in 15 European Tour events this season, taking the Volvo China Open by three shots over defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts.

“To have three before May is literally unbelievable, but I’ve been playing well so I’ve been feeling like I can win and I’ve been giving myself opportunities,' Grace said Sunday. “It’s just amazing and shows you the standard of golf that I am playing right now.'

Grace had two consecutive wins in January at the Joburg Open and Volvo Golf Champions. With his third win of the year, the South African gained some rather illustrious company.

At 23 years and 338 days, Grace is now the fifth-youngest winner of three European Tour events in a year. Seve Ballesteros accomplished the feat at a younger age than Grace in 1977, '78 and '80. Sandy Lyle did it at 21 years, 212 days in 1979.

Grace also became the second player (Johan Edfors, 2006) to win three times in the season after graduating from European Tour Q-school.

Having begun the year at 258th in the Official World Golf Ranking, Grace will improve from 89th in the ranking on Monday. Though an official projection has not been released, Grace could land anywhere from the mid-60s to the low-70s.