2017 Valero Texas Open: Branden Grace grabs early one-shot lead in first round

By Steve Habel, The Sports Xchange  |  April 20, 2017 at 3:27 PM
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SAN ANTONIO -- Branden Grace of South Africa fashioned seven birdies in his first 14 holes and settled for a 6-under-par 66 to establish a one-shot lead on Thursday after the morning wave of the first round of the Valero Texas Open.

Will MacKenzie and John Huh were a shot back after 67s in the morning wave played under mostly benign conditions at the TPC San Antonio Oaks Course.

Ten players -- most notably Brooks Koepka and former U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland -- finished their first rounds with 68s, two off Grace's pace.

Grace has won 11 times as a professional, including the 2016 RBC Heritage as his only PGA Tour victory. He was 3-under on the front-nine after four birdies and a bogey and racked up three more birdies to sign for a round that included hitting 13 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation.

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