Brenden Grace wins at St. Andrews, records fourth Euro Tour victory of 2012

Richard Heathcote - Getty Images

When you think of the European Tour, you undoubtedly place Rory McIlroy on the top of your players list. Here's why you should instead consider Brenden Grace.

While most will agree that Rory McIlroy will be named player of the year on the PGA Tour, there is a strong chance he will not earn the same honor on his native European Tour.

At least, not if Brenden Grace has anything to say about it.

Grace, 24, captured his fourth win on the Euro tour yesterday at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship from the Old Course at St. Andrews. It was also his fifth victory worldwide in 2012, having also won the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final in September. His other Euro tour wins include the Joburg Open, Volvo Golf Champions and Volvo China Open.

Despite his success this season, Grace still finds himself 730,000 euros behind McIlroy atop that tour's money list.

By contrast, McIlroy only has one win on the European Tour schedule in 2012: the PGA Championship. That win is still a major and holds a great deal more weight in Player of the Year voting; however Grace's volume of victories should put him ahead of McIlroy in the year-end voting.

Grace still has his sights on surpassing McIlroy on the money list by the end of the year.

"I am all for catching Rory," Grace told reporters after shooting a closing 70. "Someone mentioned the possibility to me a couple of days ago and then I said let's get this week over with first and I have done that.

"And now I am in third place, first place is definitely in my sights. With a lot of big money events coming up 800,000 is not a lot to make up."

Grace's chances of passing McIlroy are slim, however he is playing more events over the next two months than the Northern Irish superstar. McIlroy's next event is this week in Turkey where he joins seven of the world's top players -- including Tiger Woods -- in an exhibition tournament with a winner's purse of $1.5 million, but does not count toward the Euro Tour money list. Grace is set to play in the Portugal Masters this week, which offers a 600,000 euro first place prize.

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