Defending champion Brandon Stone hoping for more success on Scottish soil

09/07/19
THE RENAISSANCE CLUB - NORTH BERWICK
Defending champion Brandon Stone address the media ahead of the Scottish Open.
09/07/19 THE RENAISSANCE CLUB - NORTH BERWICK Defending champion Brandon Stone address the media ahead of the Scottish Open.

Brandon Stone almost created history at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open 12 months ago on his way to winning the title.

The 26-year-old South African missed a birdie putt on the last at Gullane Links for the first round of 59 on the European Tour.

His final round of 10-under 60 earned him a four-shot victory over Eddie Pepperell and Stone was keen to refresh his memories of the greatest day in his career to date.

Ahead of this week’s event taking place in nearby Renaissance, he said: “I got in on Monday quite late.

“I actually took my dad, who wasn’t here last year, to Gullane and stood on the 18th green and tried to recreate the putt we had.

“It was quite cool taking a trip down memory lane. It’s nice to be back.”

Stone fondly remembers calling his father Kevin after his Scottish Open success 12 months ago, adding: “I have got to try to save his face here a little bit.

“He was a little worse for wear back in South Africa, shall we say.

“I remember coming off the 18th green and I received a FaceTime phone call from my mother and my father.

“They were speaking some dialect that I have not related to this day.

“There were tears flying, hugs all over the place and it was a very emotional evening.

“He’s here this year, luckily, and my mum will be joining me next week in Portrush, so it’s going to be a lot more of a family affair.

“Hopefully I can replicate the results and we can enjoy ourselves in Northern Ireland next week.”

Oliver Fisher recorded the first 59 on the European Tour at the Portugal Masters last September, while Robert Rock went close at last week’s Irish Open with a round of 60 at Lahinch.

Stone added: “It seems like shooting 61, 60 and 59 is becoming more of a popular trend since then.

“We saw Robert Rock last week shooting a phenomenal 60. It seems like that magical 59 is going to become a more regular occurrence and we might be seeing one or two of those again this season.”

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