Abu Dhabi – There’s something about the start of a new season that agrees with Branden Grace.
The world number 11, South Africa’s highest ranked golfer, has had a good start to the new year with two top 10 finishes in the two events he’s played so far this year and has now taken his streak to five top 10s since the DP World Tour Championship at the end of last season.
He was at it again here this week in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship with a tie for fifth setting him up nicely as the European Tour moves on to Doha this week where Grace will defend his Qatar Masters title.
“Obviously I would have liked to be a lot closer to the top, but so it goes. I actually played really solid. Just two bad wedge shots which cost me a couple of shots but so it goes. You’re not going to play on a golf course like this, bogey-free rounds every day but still good. Still top five, so can’t complain about that,” Grace said of his exploits before moving on to Qatar.
“Lifting the Mother of Pearl last year was great and going back with fond memories and getting a couple of top fives heading into the week is good. Confidence there, just need to get over the last hurdle,” Grace said after his final round here.
“I’ve been playing nicely. A lot of times, you’re not playing the type of golf to get those finishes, but I’m just grinding it out and I think that’s been the key so far. But it’s been working. I can’t complain,” he added.
Last year, Grace shot a final round 66 that saw him move to 19-under-par in Doha and he’s hoping for a repeat, particularly if he can get the putter working for him.
“The putter has been the big thing. The ball-striking has gotten better every day as the week progressed on, so there’s a lot of positives,” he added of his form with the flat stick.
“With a top five you just have to keep grinding, keep believing and just try and move forward,” he said of the run of form he’s experiencing.