Grace in control at St Andrews

Branden Grace holds the biggest halfway lead of the European Tour season after a second-round 67 in the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews today.

Branden Grace holds the biggest halfway lead of the European Tour season after a second-round 67 in the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews today.

Having begun the £3million pro-celebrity event with an incredible Tour record-equalling 60 at Kingsbarns, the 24-year-old South African marched five strokes clear by reaching 17 under par at halfway.

When he putted for eagle on the 357-yard last Grace had a chance to match the circuit’s lowest-ever 36-hole total in relation to par, but he happily settled for a two-putt birdie and so the mark set by compatriot Ernie Els at the 2004 Heineken Classic in Australia still stands.

“I just don’t really knows what’s going on,” said the Pretoria golfer, who was outside the world’s top 300 less than a year ago, came through the Tour qualifying school and now has a chance of an incredible fifth victory of the season.

The fourth came last Sunday in his home country’s winter series and was slightly overshadowed, of course, by Europe’s miraculous Ryder Cup comeback.

“A win is a win,” he added. “It gives you confidence and puts a fire in you. I’m still just running with it.”

Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and Swede Joel Sjoholm are in joint second place and you have to look a long way way down the leaderboard to find many of the big names.

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