| 6.6°C Dublin

state of grace

Branden Grace set a scorching pace on day one of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa to eclipse a brilliant display by English European Tour rookie Matt Ford.

South African Grace posted a 10-under-par 62 at Leopard Creek Country Club, which gave him a three-shot lead over countryman Jake Roos, with 36-year-old Ford a further shot back.

Peter Lawrie was best of the Irish with a four under par 68, which included seven birdies and three bogeys. Damien McGrane was one under along with Michael Hoey while Kevin Phelan a shot back on level par. Grace, who won four European tour events in 2012, was in sparkling form at the Kruger National Park venue.


"I hit the ball superbly from the start to the finish," Grace said. "I can't remember the last time I hit 18 greens in a row, which is pretty nice, especially around this place where there are some daunting approaches. It's a good feeling going into the rest of the tournament."

Ford had been set to take up a job as a postman, but he successfully came through last month's European Tour qualifying school and showed his talent through a round of 66 that contained eight birdies and just two bogeys.

Three-time Alfred Dunhill Championship winner Charl Schwartzel shot a 69, which was the same score as his fellow South African and Major winner Louis Oosthuizen.