Branden Grace hits 60 to equal European Tour record


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The Independent Online

The South African Branden Grace yesterday equalled the European Tour record with a round of 60 at Kingsbarns in the first round of the Dunhill Links Championship.

Already with three European Tour titles to his name this season, the 24-year-old knocked two strokes off Lee Westwood's course record thanks to an eagle and 10 birdies.

The Pretoria golfer leads Victor Dubuisson by two, the Frenchman's 62 at St Andrews also being a course record, while many of the big guns were left trailing in his wake after they battled with the far tougher Carnoustie.

The three Ryder Cup heroes in the field – Paul Lawrie, Martin Kaymer and Peter Hanson – returned 75, 70 and 72 respectively, with Lawrie commenting on his return to the course where he won the 1999 Open: "I was a little bit tired, but the first 12 holes were my worst ball-striking of the year."

Current Open champion Ernie Els had to play the last eight in three under just for a 73, while Paul McGinley, favourite to take over from Jose Maria Olazabal as Europe's next Ryder captain, struggled to a 76.

The highlight of the Irishman's day was partnering Olympic and Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius in the celebrity pro-am. "It was a real honour," McGinley said.