Branden Grace Made History at the Open Championship

Branden Grace Made History at the Open Championship

Trailing for the first time all weekend at Royal Birkdale - and lucky it was only one stroke thanks to a shot from the driving range - the 23-year-old Texan followed with a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie stretch that allowed him to close with a 1-under 69 and win the British Open by three shots over Matt Kuchar.

Kuchar, 39, whose best Grand Slam result was a 3rd place at the Masters in 2012, believed he was finally holding his "Grail" when he took a step ahead of Spieth at the 13th hole. "No surprise", said Zach Johnson, victor of the 2015 Open Championship. But, after his historic round three, which featured eight birdies, Grace is now just three strokes behind current leader Jordan Spieth, who stands at seven under par.

That allowed Spieth to take a one-shot penalty for an unplayable lie and go back as far as he wanted on a line from the ball to the flag. "I talked to them last night on the phone".

"I think just a little bit of belief that you are, you know".

They'll take one of golf's most famous walks together again Sunday, and one of them may be celebrating his impending coronation as the Champion Golfer of the Year, the title bestowed upon the victor of this tournament.

Only five men have won all of golf's four majors at some stage in their career - Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Nicklaus and Woods.

"I was hitting it well, couldn't have asked to get off to a better start", McIlroy said. "I was really sorry for her".

The Open: Branden Grace first man in major history to shoot 62 round

"She didn't know I [broke] my putter in the lake ... she just tried to help me, " he said. "And I was like, 'What are you talking about?' Now it makes the day even sweeter", he said.

Jordan Spieth considers his options with Rules Officials on the 13th hole during the final round of the 146th Open Championship.

He made birdie at each of his last four holes.

There have been 31 rounds of 63 in major championships and Grace's feat prompted a standing ovation at the 18th green as he saluted the packed galleries at Royal Birkdale. The enormity of the moment, as he walked between The Open's large blue bleachers packed with fans and its trademark yellow scoreboards, caused Spieth to cease his usual pre-shot routine, though.

Despite the shift in momentum towards compatriot Kuchar after the events of the 13th, Spieth managed to fire a six iron right down the throat of the green at the par-three 14th to set up a birdie. And when Kuchar holed a 20-footer for birdie on the 17th to stay in the game, Spieth poured in a 7-footer on top of him.

A birdie putt at the 15th lipped out but Grace responded by holing a long effort at the par-four next, before getting to eight under with a two-putt gain at the par-five 17th.

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