On most days, a 13-under-par tournament total would be pretty damn pleasing. Branden Grace carded a closing six-under-par 67 on Sunday to move to a share of 33rd – a gaping 21 shots off the winning total in the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii.
Cameron Smith of Australia finished with a staggering PGA Tour record of 34-under-par, which, incredibly, was only enough for a one-stroke victory over world number one Jon Rahm of Spain. And Grace’s 33rd was closer to the bottom of the 38-man field, with Jason Kokrak of the United States finishing last on seven-under.
Grace made birdies on four and five in the closing round, but dropped a shot on six to turn in one-under-par 35. But he started the back nine like a house on fire with three consecutive birdies from the 10th, and then picked up two more on 15 and 17 for his 67. His round was characterised by superb accuracy off the tee as he hit all but one fairway, and then he made that pay with his usual accuracy with his approach game, hitting all but two greens in regulation.
Erik van Rooyen and Garrick Higgo finished above Grace in a share of 25th on 16-under-par for the tournament, 18 shots behind Smith. Van Rooyen closed with a four-under-par 69, and Higgo with a three-under-par 70.