Branden Grace’s five European Tour wins cemented him as a player to watch, but his performance at large events like the World Golf Championships have come up a little short…until this season. In 2014 the South African has announced himself as a contender at big events, most recently finishing tied for 23rd at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
This week he turns to Valhalla Golf Club in the hopes of clinching glory’s last shot. There is plenty to consider, such as the field containing 99 of the world’s top 100 and the FedExCup points on offer.
The Fancourt representative has always done well under pressure, which he’ll feel plenty of this week if his game is hot. Three weeks ago he was cool under fire at The Open Championship and finished tied for 36th, but he’ll be looking to end of the 2014 majors with a top-10.
Valhalla is a ball-striker’s course and the longer hitters stand a better chance of scoring. The likes of Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley all present real threats for the Wanamaker Trophy, and Grace must match them.
The 26-year-old has played a consistent season in Europe and missed just three cuts, but the PGA Championship is a different kettle of fish. The soft and lush American-style course makes scoring a must, and Grace will need to find the balance needed to play aggressive golf without making mistakes.
The field is unbelievably deep, the top players all coming into form, but so is Grace and this week is a chance for him to prove that he can perform at an American-style major.