sport

Grace seeks dream home win

Branden Grace hopes to cap an incredible 2012 season with a home victory in the South African Open at Serengeti, which starts on Thursday.

Grace could emulate Lee Westwood, the last player to win five European Tour titles in the same season in 2000, if he can win his national title and complete an incredible 11 months that started at the qualifying school in Spain.

Since surviving that ordeal Grace has won the Joburg Open, the Volvo Champions, the China Open and most recently the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, which included a round of 60 at Kingsbarns.

That rise to fame sees Grace ranked 39th in the world and sixth on the European Tour money list, figures that could improve even further with a victory this week.

"Over the last couple of years I've felt that I've played good golf, but never really got the best out of it," he said. "I never really got where I wanted to be.

"Obviously this year has been a dream year so far and going back home it's going to feel awesome to tee it up in the SA Open."

The other big battle is at the 'wrong' end of the rankings, where cards for the 2013 season are up for grabs.

Last year's Challenge Tour winner Tommy Fleetwood tees off 124th on the money list and needing to climb five places.

The 21-year-old Englishman has played 30 events, more than anybody else on the circuit, but has not managed a single top 15 finish.

Scot Craig Lee is 116th on the Order of Merit, but may need one more push as several of those just below him are at the Hong Kong Open, where there is far more prize money on offer.