Thomas roasts Miller over Grace's major record 62

Lawrence Cooper
July 24, 2017

What should be one of the toughest examinations in world golf was brought to its knees on Saturday by a plethora of players, the crescendo of which was Branden Grace shooting the lowest ever round in major history.

Ten players had previously posted a round of 63 in an Open, with Phil Mickelson and eventual victor Henrik Stenson both posting that number during last year's tournament at Royal Troon.

It was a stark contrast from Friday, when wind and rain pummeled the course and the players.

McIlroy birdied the first for the second day running and picked up further shots at the fourth and fifth to get within two of the lead at the time, but lost ground with bogeys at seven and eight before reviving his hopes with a birdie at nine to turn in 32.

Behind the strength of his 8-under round, Grace shot up the leaderboard and finished with an overall score of 4-under and went into the clubhouse just two strokes behind leader Jordan Spieth who was yet to tee off in the third round.

Li, who shot an 84 in the final round of the U.S. Open last month, hit his approach shot to just a few feet on the final hole to cap off his round. One that is very different, of course, to when 62 was last shot in the Open Championship by Bob Martin, the victor in 1876 and 1885, at Prestwick in 1881.

Spieth's playing partner, fellow American Matt Kuchar, had a more eventful start with two birdies and a bogey in his first four holes leaving him five-under.

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The South African said he might have been helped by being unaware of the fact that he was in with a chance of making history.

This was Grace's second time flirting with the magical number. "And I was like, 'What are you talking about?' Now it makes the day even sweeter", he said.

"I didn't know what was going on on 18". But through 441 events and 157 years, the 62 remained ever elusive. "Definitely a couple of shots there (went missing) on the last couple of holes".

"You never know what's going to happen tomorrow but I figure I'm going to need to shoot, probably, nine under".

It came on a gentle day when Grace said par was more realistically 67 than 70 as the scorecard said. "We had a good chat and it's been working ever since".

Grace wasn't aware of what he'd done until his caddie told him after he holed the final putt. "It was set up really, really easy today, folks, but still a heck of a round".

Prior to Saturday's third round in Southport, there had been 31 instances of players scoring 63 in a major. "There's a lot of spots you want to keep out of on this golf course".

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