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Branden Grace and Garrick Higgo impress at Zurich Classic with Presidents Cup looming

File - Garrick Higgo finished in a tie for fourth at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Sunday. Photo: Justin Lane/EPA

File - Garrick Higgo finished in a tie for fourth at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Sunday. Photo: Justin Lane/EPA

Published Apr 25, 2022

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Centurion - South Africans Branden Grace and Garrick Higgo finished in a tie for fourth at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Sunday, and it was a timely display of form in the team format ahead of the Presidents Cup later this year.

Grace and Higgo combined in the two-player team event to end on 23-under, six behind American winners Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.

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The first and third rounds were fourball or betterball format, which meant both golfers played each hole and the team score was the best of the two. The second and fourth rounds were alternate shot.

Neither Grace or Higgo are close to automatic qualification for the Presidents Cup International team, with the top eight in the standings earning a place in the side. Grace is 43rd in the international rankings, while Higgo is outside the top-50.

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However, just three teams finished ahead of the SA pair at the Zurich Classic and with SA’s Trevor Immelman captaining this year’s event at Quail Hollow Club from September 20 to 25, he will be sure to have taken note of their performances. Immelman will be allowed four captains picks of players who do not finish inside automatic qualifying positions.

Grace said after the round, that it was a goal to produce a top showing in the format for Immelman.

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Grace said: “That was one of the goals coming into the week was to show him, listen, we're still here, and at a tournament like this, playing against the best field in the world, it's pretty exciting to finish top-five, to say the least. I know now we'll make a great team in both formats. If we get into the team together, I think it's definitely a great pairing.”

Higgo added: “Our shapes work together. We play the same ball. Yeah, I think everything about our games fit quite nicely.”

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