How Brendan Grace went from cross-country road trip to PGA contention

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KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Branden Grace was forced to miss last year’s PGA Championship after testing positive for COVID-19, which made his 3-under total through two rounds at Kiawah Island this week feel like vindication.

It also brought back memories from last year’s championship, most vividly an impromptu cross-country trip.

Grace’s RV was in San Francisco for last year’s PGA at TPC Harding Park, so he decided to drive, with a friend, to his next start, the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.

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“I think I've seen more of America than most Americans, let me put it that way. It was pretty long,” said Grace, who was tied for second place following a second-round 71. He was leading by two shots with two holes to play before finishing double bogey-bogey.

Grace said the trip took four days, and because he was on the road with little access to a television, he didn’t spend much time thinking about what he was missing at Harding Park.

“I didn't actually want to watch the golf, to be quite honest. It was not emotional, but it was tough to know that I wasn't playing,” he said. “The highlight was just seeing the different terrains. It sounds simple, but when you come out of California, everything is nice and then you go to the desert, and then you come and get all the farmlands after that, and then you get into the mountains. It was pretty cool.”