By the numbers: Branden Grace’s 62

Branden Grace became the first player to shoot a 62 in a major championship on Saturday when he carded an 8-under par round in The Open at Royal Birkdale.

South African Grace, who has seven wins on the European Tour and one on the PGA Tour, fired eight birdies during a third round played in ideal conditions.

“It was a special day, to be quite honest,” Grace said. “I had no idea that was the lowest. I was so in the zone and playing the round so well. I was just trying to play the round without a bogey and make another birdie at the last. Sometimes it helps not knowing these things.

“When you get on a run like that, you stop thinking about golf. It’s one of the best ball-striking rounds of my career.”

It was a special round as Grace hit 16 of 18 greens, saving par from the back of the 18th green to set the landmark in the 442nd major championship ever played.

Prior to Saturday, 31 players had shot 63 in a major.

Johnny Miller was the first during the final round of the 1973 US Open at Oakmont as he claimed his first major.

Justin Thomas was the last, firing a 63 at last month’s US Open, only the fifth player to do so at the US Open.

A year ago at the Open, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson shot a 63 on Sunday at Royal Troon as he claimed his first major title, while runner-up Phil Mickelson shot a 63 in the first round.

There have been 10 rounds of 63 at The Open previously, with only one, by Jodie Mudd, at Royal Birkdale.

Grace’s playing partner Jason Dufner has also shot 63 in a major. He did so in the second round of the 2013 PGA Championship, which he won.

Brandon Grace’s 62: By the numbers

1: Grace is the first to shoot 62 in a major championship

4: Grace moved from four over par to four under at the end of his round

29: A total of 29 players have previously shot 63 in a major

31: There have been 31 rounds of 63 (Greg Norman and Vijay Singh have two each)

441: 441 majors championships have been played (81 Masters, 117 U.S. Opens, 145 British Opens, 98 PGA Championships)