RBC Heritage Final Round Recap: Branden Grace rallies from three shots down to claim first PGA Tour win

Branden Grace fired a final round 66 to claim the RBC Heritage title by two shots over Russell Knox and Luke Donald. Grace, who has seven European Tour wins to his name, claimed his first PGA Tour wIn.

Donald shoots final-round 71, but comes up short

The Englishman, without a win since 2012 at the Valspar Championship, carried the 54-hole lead into Sunday, but could do no better than an even-par 71. The former world number one player in the world has done everything but win at Harbour Town. The Englishman has finished second four times and third twice in the past eight events here. Grace also became the latest to rally past hard-luck leader Donald at Harbour Town Golf Links. 

Brandt Snedeker shot a final-round 64 to catch Donald and win in a playoff in 2011. Matt Kuchar shot a 64 in 2014, overtaking Donald for the win with a chip-in from the bunker on the 72nd hole. He birdied the seventh to get to 8-under, but gave it right back at the with a bogey. After alternating a birdie at the ninth with a bogey at the tenth, Donald could do no better than par the final eight holes. Donald joked about his latest setback here: "I think I've got to put myself three or four behind on Sunday," Donald said. "Leading doesn't seem to be working out for me."

Luke Donald, of England, watches his drive down the third fairway during the final round of the RBC Heritage on Sunday (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Luke Donald, of England, watches his drive down the third fairway during the final round of the RBC Heritage on Sunday (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Grace charges in front on front nine, fires seven birdies in closing 66

While Donald was struggling to get anything going, Grace quickly closed the gap. Starting the day at 4-under, the South African birdied his first two holes to reduce Donald's lead to one. An additional two birdies offset a bogey and Grace went out in 32 to tie Donald at 8-under. After Donald's bogey on the 10th, Grace took control with birdies on 12 and 13, never relinquishing the lead after that.

He cruised down the stretch with a three shot lead, a bogey on 17 only making things interesting for a moment, but when Donald's birdie putt on 16 lipped out, the tournament was effectively over. Grace commented on his win and what it means for him: “This was the next hurdle, to try to get a win under the belt on the PGA Tour,” he said. “And now that I have that I can put my sights on other things. Now I know that I can win out here, so now it’s time to push for those majors and I’m excited to head into the U.S. Open.” 

DeChambeau, Day finish strong

Bryson DeChambeau, low amateur at last week's Masters, finished with a final-round 68 to finish tied for fourth in his professional debut. The former SMU star spoke about his final round: "I putted a lot better than the last few days," DeChambeau said. "Unfortunately my driver was kind of giving out today. I'll definitely work on that for next week. It was definitely fun to see some putts go in." He also spoke about his last two weeks: "It's been quite a journey so far, these past couple weeks," he said. "It's an honor to be playing out here with these big boys, trying to do my best. Hopefully I can keep competing out there and hopefully I can get a couple of wins out there."

World number one Jason Day came back with a 68 on Sunday after a third-round 79 on Saturday.