Grace ponders next move in Malaysia

Branden Grace can turn his form around this week and underline the strength of South Africa’s golfing ‘Generation Next’ in the Maybank Malaysian Open.

He and Jbe’ Kruger had maiden European Tour wins earlier in the year, and as the dust settles after the dramatic finish to the Masters, they face up to the cream of the European and Asian Tours as well as South Africa’s two youngest major winners.

Last year, Charl Schwartzel braved jetlag and played in the tournament a week after his Masters victory, and he is joined by Louis Oosthuizen who came so close to winning a green jacket of his own this year.

And while the effects of travel are certainly going to play a part in their games, Oosthuizen is going to be emotionally drained after his near miss in his quest for a second major – much as Schwartzel was after his victory last year.

So the young guns get their chance to display their wares in the presence of their (for now) more illustrious countrymen.

And Grace wants to return to the kind of form which saw him win the Joburg Open and the Volvo Champions in consecutive weeks.

It’s form that has dipped since his victories: Two missed cuts, the more recent at the Sicilian Open at the beginning of the month, and a best finish of just 25th in the Trophee Hasan II in Morocco in March tell the tale of a mental let-down after the high of winning.

Grace would do well to delve into the memories of his win in the Volvo Champions for some thoughts about how to approach the Malaysian tournament. It was there he beat two childhood idols in Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in a playoff.

Now, he has two players much closer to him in terms of age with who to contend, and the knowledge that he saw off Goosen and Els can help him deal with Schwartzel and Oosthuizen.

© 2016 Sunshine Tour. All rights reserved. Website constructed by OCS Sport