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Sunday, 22 April 2012
Branden Grace  (Getty Images)
Branden Grace (Getty Images)
SUNDAY APRIL 22, 2012 – VOLVO CHINA OPEN

• Gains his third European Tour International Schedule victory in his 59th European Tour event.

• Moves to €1,053,849 in The Race to Dubai.

• Moved to 66th  in the Official World Golf Ranking, from 89th. 

• Having graduated from the 2011 European Tour Qualifying School, became just the second European Tour Qualifying School graduate to win more than €1 million the season after graduation, following Johan Edfors. The Swede gained a European Tour card at the 2005 Qualifying School. In 2006 he won more €1,505,583.

• Became just the second Qualifying School graduate to win three events the season after graduation. Has won the Joburg Open, Volvo Golf Champions and now the Volvo China Open this year. His third win came three months to the day, after his second.

• Became the second Qualifying School graduate to win three times the year after graduation. The first was Johan Edfors in 2006 who won three times, claiming the TCL Classic, British Masters and Scottish Open.

• His three victories have all come in his last ten European Tour events. His best finish in his first 49 European Tour appearances was tied sixth in the 2009 South African Open Championship.

• Moves to fifth in the list of youngest players to win three European Tour events in the same season. Here is the list: Seve Ballesteros (20 years and 99 days in 1977); Seve Ballesteros (21 years and 121 days in 1978); Sandy Lyle (21 years and 212 days in 1979); Seve Ballesteros (23 years and 109 days in 1980) and Branden Grace (23 years and 338 days in 2012).

• Becomes the sixth player in European Tour history to win their first three events in the same season. The players are: Sandy Lyle (1979), Ronan Rafferty (1989), Alex Cejka (1995), Fredrik Jacobson (2003), Johan Edfors (2006) and Branden Grace (2012).

• Became only the third South African player to win three European Tour events in a single season. He follows: Ernie Els (2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005) and Retief Goosen (2001).

• Becomes the first player to win three times in the same season since Thomas Björn in 2011, who won the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy, Johnnie Walker Championships at Gleneagles and Omega European Masters.

• Maintains his 100% record of winning when leading or sharing the lead going into the final round on The European Tour. Firstly, he led by three shots at the Joburg Open after 54 holes. He shared the lead with Nicolas Colsaerts at the Volvo Golf Champions, when the duo led by one. He took a three shot advantage going into the last day at the Volvo China Open.

• Became the first player to win two Volvo-sponsored events in the same season since Colin Montgomerie in 1999. The Scot won the Volvo PGA Championship and Volvo Scandinavian Masters.

OTHER FACTS

• Became the first South African to win the Volvo China Open.

• This victory continues South Africa’s recent run of wins on The European Tour. They have now won six of the first 15 European Tour events this season. They are: Louis Oosthuizen (Africa Open and Maybank Malaysian Open), Branden Grace (Joburg Open, Volvo Golf Champions and Volvo China Open) and Jbe’ Kruger (Avantha Masters).

• The 107th South African victory in European Tour history.

• Gains his largest European Tour prize of €398,594.

• Moves over €1 million in European Tour Official Career Earnings.

• Gains his fourth win as a professional.

• Became the 11th European Tour victory by a former Challenge Tour player on the 2012 European Tour. They are: Louis Oosthuizen (Africa Open and Maybank Malaysian Open), Branden Grace (Joburg Open, Volvo Golf Champions and Volvo China Open), Robert Rock (Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Omega Dubai Desert Classic), Justin Rose (WGC – Cadillac Championship), Julien Quesne (Open de Andalucía Costa del Sol), Michael Hoey (Trophée Hassan II) and Thorbjørn Olesen (Sicilian Open).

• Became the 295th European Tour victory by a former Challenge Tour player.

Becomes the 40th European Tour win by a Qualifying School graduate the season after graduation.

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