Victory for Grace takes him back in top 100

Victory by Branden Grace in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open over the weekend translated into a massive 64-place jump on the latest Official World Golf Ranking.

Grace was languishing down in 147th, and missed put on what would normally be a regular tournament for him, the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession. But recent good form translated into his second victory on the PGA Tour, and his first on the US circuit since he won the RBC Heritage in April 2016.

Between then and this weekend, he won the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2018 and the South African Open Championship on home soil in 2020. But 2016 was his peak on the world rankings, when he climbed as high as number 10 and looked likely to stay inside the top 10 in the world. His 10th spot came after he finished fourth in the 2016 PGA Championship, and he was 11th after a share of fifth in the US Open, his win in the Commercial Bank Qatar Master and in the RBC Heritage.

He finished the year in 17th place, stayed inside the top 50 for the next two years, and it has been a scramble to stay inside the top 100 since 2019.

But his victory vaulted him back inside the top 100 to 83rd, and, with his form having been on an upward curve since his return from the tragic loss of his father to COVID-19 related difficulties, there is every prospect of a good year ahead with appearances in the major championships and other important tournaments.

Louis Oosthuizen finished in a share of sixth in the WGC-Workday Championship, and that saw him up to 22nd, closer to the world’s top 10 and territory which he has occupied with comfort for the least seven years after rising to a high of fourth in 2013 and seemingly able to challenge for the number one spot. He remains South Africa’s top-ranked golfer.

South Africa’s top 10:

  1. Louis Oosthuizen 22 (up 4)
  2. Christiaan Bezuidenhout 37 (down 1)
  3. Erik van Rooyen 63 (unchanged)
  4. Dylan Frittelli 68 (unchanged)
  5. George Coetzee 82 (unchanged)
  6. Branden Grace 83 (up 64)
  7. Brandon Stone 104 (up 4)
  8. Garrick Higgo 106 (down 2)
  9. Shaun Norris 108 (up 3)
  10. Daniel van Tonder 156 (down 2)

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