Branden Grace made history on Saturday when he became the first player ever to shoot a round of 62 in a major in the third round of the British Open at Royal Birkdale. REUTERS pic

SOUTHPORT, United Kingdom: Branden Grace made history on Saturday when he became the first player ever to shoot a round of 62 in a major in the third round of the British Open at Royal Birkdale.

There had been 31 rounds of 63 in the previous 441 major championships, with 10 coming in the British Open including Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson in last year's British Open at Troon, but never a 62.

The South African's eight-under-par round, featuring eight birdies and no dropped shots, saw him rocket up the leaderboard to four under par overall, two behind leader Jordan Spieth's halfway total of six-under.

Grace, who narrowly made the cut as he sat at four over par at the tournament's halfway stage, also broke Jodie Mudd's course record of 63, set in the final round of the Open in 1991.

Grace had five birdies on the front nine to go out in just 29 before three more coming home, at the short 14th and back-to-back at 16 and 17.

He risked missing out on history when he sent his approach to the 18th long, but a fine putt from the very back of the green allowed him to rescue par.

The 29-year-old from Pretoria, ranked 35th in the world, has previously had four top-five finishes at majors, including a third place at the PGA Championship in 2015.

He equalled the record for the lowest ever round on the European Tour when he shot a 12-under-par 60 at Kingsbarns in his 2012 victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. -- AFP

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