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Golf | SA

Branden Grace © Gallo Images

Grace arranges Masters practice with Player



South African golfer Branden Grace has secured a practice round ahead of the Masters, at Augusta in April, with Gary Player.

Grace announced on Twitter on Sunday that he was on his way to the United States to play events leading up to his debut in the first Major of the year, and two minutes later he received a response from the Black Knight.

“All the best. Let me know if we can help in any way. Play well," Player posted on the social networking site. "Practice hard. Be positive. My best."

Grace was delighted to have Player, the three-time Masters champion, offer his time.

“Very much appreciated and would be great to see you and would be awesome to walk down a fairway with you at The Masters #legend,” Grace tweeted.

Player responded: “Lets play a Masters practice round with a few of our fellow South Africans. I will have my office reach out to arrange."

Grace had said before his title defence at the Joburg Open last week that he would have a busy schedule in the lead up to the year's first Major.

“I'm heading over to the States to play a couple of events leading up to the Masters. I should play about five before,” he said.

“It's a good, packed schedule which is nice to get some good prep done before the Masters.”

The annual tournament at Augusta held a special place in his heart, Grace explained.

“I think the Masters is a tournament every player dreams of playing.

"I've played all the rest so far but I think this is a special one.

“That for me is a golf tournament – that, in my opinion, is the best Major there is. If you can put the green jacket on at the end of the week it will be a dream come true.”

The 24-year-old indicated he had already made plans to prepare with last year's runner-up, Louis Oosthuizen, and fellow South African George Coetzee.

“We have plans – me, Louis and George – to go there early and play it (Augusta course) and prepare for it.”

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