Grace is one of two players on the International team with a winning individual record. Fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen is the other. They made an indomitable duo in 2015 going 4-0 and played holes 17 and 18 just once.
Grace then beat Matt Kuchar to become just the second international player and fifth overall to go 5-0. The demons from an 0-4 record in 2013 should be all but gone, especially if paired again with Oosthuizen. Someone make sure Nick Price is OK if they’re not together for at least two matches.
The 29-year-old never truly scared a tournament win in 2017, but he had a steady year to date making 17 of 20 cuts with three top-10s. One of those three came at The Open where Grace set the major championship scoring record with an eight-under 62 at Royal Birkdale.
“(In 2015) we were really close,” Grace told Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard in January. “It would be nice to get the victory and we’ve made a lot of progress.”
The U.S. won by just one point in 2015, the slimmest margin since 2003. Grace said in the interview he believes the team wasn’t as rested it should have been in 2015 and hopes a refined approach will pay off this week.
Grace comes in on two weeks of rest as do six of the other 11 on the team. Five International members played in last week’s Tour Championship compared to 11 from the U.S.
The greatest value Grace brings to the team, aside from being a veteran, is his short game. While he’s solid tee to green, he’s sixth on Tour in scrambling from outside 30 yards and 29th from 10-20.