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Branden Grace had no idea he’d made men’s major history at the Open until his caddie told him after the final putt.

The South African posted the first 62 in 442 major championships, going round Royal Birkdale in benign early Saturday afternoon conditions to post a bogey-free eight-under-par total that lifted him from T45 to into the top ten.

He just needed a par at the final hole after back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th and wasn’t feeling nerves on the 18th green as he didn’t have a clue about what he was on the verge of achieving.

“I didn’t know what was going on until after 18, I promise you,” said Grace. “Zack [his caddie] came up to me and said, ‘You’re in the history books’. I had no idea 62 was going to be the lowest round ever.

Read more – Twitter reacts to Branden Grace’s 62

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“I played flawless golf but I was just concentrating on getting myself back in the tournament. I was in the zone and I was desperate not to make bogey on the 18th.

A 62 was called earlier in the day by Tommy Fleetwood, too. After he posted a four-under-par 66 in the second group of the day, he told bunkered.co.uk: “Yeah, it’s out there. Ten is a decent pin. Eleven and 12 are quite hard to get to. Thirteen is a good pin. There are two par-5s. 

“So if you’re only needing three birdies on the back nine, there’s a really good chance.

At that point, Grace was five-under-par through the front nine. He stalled slightly on at the start of the back nine with four pars in a row but kicked into gear again, with a 35ft birdie putt on the par-3 14th and another on the 16th.

A tap-in birdie at the par-5 17th took him to eight-under-par but it wasn’t exactly straight-forward from them on in. While Grace found the middle of the fairway with his tee shot, his second went over the back of the green. He recovered with an excellent lengthy putt and sunk a nervy two-footer to enter the record books.

“It’s special,” he added. “It’s always nice shooting a low number. To do it at the Open Championship is something I’ll remember forever.”

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