Grace and Rupert lead Dunhill team event

04/10/2012 18:05:10
Branden Grace   (Getty Images)
Branden Grace (Getty Images)

As well as shooting a course record-beating 60 at Kingsbarns in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, South Africa’s Branden Grace leads the team event with Gaynor Rupert – wife of Johann Rupert – on 15 under par.

The South African businessman, who is the Executive Chairman of Swiss company Richemont and Chairman of the Dunhill Links Championship committee, is playing alongside Open Champion Ernie Els this week in Scotland but their opening efforts were bettered to the amount of 13 shots by his better half Gaynor and partner Grace.

“We actually had a great day out there today,” said Grace, who fired an incredible ten birdies and an eagle to better Lee Westwood’s tally from 2003 by two shots. 

“She had a couple of clutch putts and she had a couple of pars and a birdie and an eagle which was nice and helped the team, so I’m looking forward to that over the next two days as well.”

Grace reserved special praise Johann, meanwhile, and his contribution to global golf.

“What Johann does for South African golf for us and for world golf in general is amazing,” said Grace.  “He puts a lot of money and time and effort into things back home, and I think it's fair to say that this tournament just keeps getting better and better.

“I think it's ten spots that he gives to South African golf to come and play and it's nice to give a couple of guys that play at home most of the year to give them some of the feeling and to see how it is and how things get to work over here.”

In a day of the highest quality golf across the three venues, France’s Victor Dubuisson shot a course record of his own in the form of a ten under par 62 on the Old Course at St Andrews, to sit one behind in the team stakes with asset manager Ahmed Tayeb.