Brandon Stone became the BMW South African Open’s youngest winner since the tournament joined the European Tour in 1997 when he took the title by two strokes at Glendower Golf Club. The 22-year-old South African closed with a 71 to win on 14-under par and claim his maiden European Tour title. It comes shortly after he broke through on the Sunshine Tour with victory in November’s Cape Town Open.
Who didn’t win
England’s Daniel Brooks was two strokes clear after Stone stumbled with six bogeys around the turn. But Stone made four birdies thereafter, sparked by a sublime approach on the par-4 12th, and ended a run of three consecutive foreign winners of the SA Open, the longest such span in the history of golf’s second-oldest national open.
How it happened
The third round was completed on Sunday morning because of adverse weather on Saturday, with Stone and Brooks battling it out for the lead. A solid 65 from Stone earned him a two-stroke lead on the Englishman going into the final round, which followed shortly thereafter. Stone started well with two birdies in his first four holes. But then came a run of six bogeys in seven holes, interrupted only briefly by a birdie on the par-5 eighth. Brooks held the lead by two but was unable to capitalise as he bogeyed 10 and 18, with just a single birdie on the back nine at the 13th. Stone’s four birdies in five holes on the back nine proved too much for his competitors to match.
After the run of bogeys, Stone stepped onto the par-4 12th tee determined to just hit the fairway.