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Branden Grace Makes History With a 62 at the British Open
August 23 2017, 11:00 | Van Peters
The Open 2017: Jordan Spieth leads the way on day two as Phil Mickelson among leading names to miss the cut
"Tomorrow will be a day that will be emotionally draining and hard to stay very neutral in the head, but that's probably the most important thing for me to do".
Summing up his performance: "It's disappointing, extremely disappointing - easy conditions and the greens were soft". When it slowly lipped out, recalling Phil Mickelson's birdie putt in his opening round 63 a year ago at Troon, it seemed that Grace had lost his chance.
His longtime caddie, Zack Rasego, knew about the record, but like a baseball teammate when his pitcher is throwing a no-hitter, never mentioned it.
American Brooks Koepka, the U.S. Open champion, went round in 68 to finish at five under, level with 20-year-old Canadian Austin Connelly who continued his remarkable run at his first major with a 66.
Saturday was a historic day at Birkdale, and Grace will be remembered as the first to ever shoot a 62 in a major.
During last year's Open at Royal Troon, Phil Mickelson claimed there was a "62 curse" after lipping out to reach the milestone in the first round.
A total of 10 players had previously shot 63 in The Open, and a further 21 had recorded the same score at The Masters, US Open and US PGA Championship. With clear skies and little wind - a significant departure from the windy and wet conditions during Friday's second round - Grace was able to hit 16 of 18 greens and sink eight birdies with no bogeys. "I was so in the zone and playing the round so well", Grace said following the round. "My caddy Zach said "congrats" and I was like 'Cool, I played a good round!' He said: 'That's in the history books.' And I said: 'What are you talking about?' I had no idea". But obviously I knocked in the 2-footer or 3-footer.
Spieth shot a 65, however, and the day ended with Grace seven shots out of the lead. The Thomas round broke Miller's mark relative to par - Johnny's 63 came on a par-71 setup and JT's came on a par-72 Erin Hills course.
As Grace's round unfolded, the presumption was that Miller, calling the action for NBC from the tower, would be non plussed by first 62 finally being shot.