Branden Grace lines up a putt during the PGA Championship. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
South African Branden Grace carded a 62 at Royal Birkdale on Saturday during the third round of the Open Championship, marking the first time that score has been posted during a major championship.
Grace's score totaled 8 under par on the par-70 course in Southport, England. He had eight birdies and no bogeys on his card and rocketed up the leaderboard from 45th into a tie for second at 4 under.
Grace, 29, finished his round before second-round leader Jordan Spieth of the United States had even teed off.
"It was a special day, to be quite honest," Grace said after the round. "I had no idea that was the lowest. I was so in the zone and playing the round so well. I was just trying to play the round without a bogey and make another birdie at the last. Sometimes it helps not knowing these things.
"When you get on a run like that, you stop thinking about golf. It's one of the best ball-striking rounds of my career."
The third round was being contested in benign conditions and bright sunshine, a complete reversal from the cold wind and driving rain the golfers faced just a day before when the average score was more than 75 and eight scores in the 80s were carded.
Thirty-one players had shot 63s at a major championship before Saturday, including American Justin Thomas in the third round of this year's U.S. Open. Thomas' 9-under 63 on the par 72 Erin Hills in Wisconsin is still the lowest score in relation to par in major championship.