First, it was Andy Sullivan ushering in 2015 with an amazing recovery shot that set up the winning birdie in a playoff win over Charl Schwartzel at the South African Open. But less than two weeks later, Branden Grace may have already topped that effort.
In the third round of the Qatar Masters, Grace found himself surrounded by trees and in the sand on the fifth hole, yet somehow pulled off this incredible snap-hooked wedge shot:
Of course, Sullivan probably deserves the edge for hitting his shot under more pressure, but in terms of degree of difficulty, we think Grace gets the nod. And if Grace goes onto win the tournament -- he has a share of the 54-hole lead -- his shot that turned his day around becomes even more significant.
"I thought I was just in the rough on the right but it must have had a big bounce to the right. Where it finished, I thought, this is going to take some magic," Grace said after his round. "I could only hit a big, snapping hook with a wedge and when I hit it, I couldn't see the ball. We heard the claps and the next thing I know I've managed to make a nice little five-footer for birdie. That definitely got it kick-started."
Not that we needed any reminder of this, but if the PGA Tour's motto is, "These guys are good," then the European Tour's easily could be, "These guys are good, too."
UPDATE: Grace shot a final-round 66 to beat Marc Warren by a shot. That gives the 26-year-old South African eight professional victories, including six European Tour titles. It also makes his remarkable recovery shot on Friday a lot more valuable.