Glendower played host to the 105th South African Open, sponsored by BMW, this past weekend. The National Championship is the second oldest National Championship in the World and something that South Africans take pride in winning. Its also been co-sanctioned by the European Tour since 1997 and represents a great chance to get some good early points in the Race to Dubai as well as very good Official World Golf Rankings points. It is with that in mind that there has been a degree of frustration at the recent stranglehold that Europeans have had on the trophy since 2011.
But 22-year-old, Brandon Stone, broke that curse when he overcame a topsy-turvy round that saw him lead by five shots and trail by two to Englishman David Brooks. Stone’s incredible roller-coaster of a round continued as he went from six bogeys in seven holes from the fifth to four birdies in five from the 12th with a gain on the 16th moving him two ahead. It was the young South African’s first European Tour title just a couple of months after securing his full membership on the European Tour through the Challenge Tour.
With the win Brandon became the 13th South African winner of the BMW SA Open in the 20 years it has been co-sanctioned and will likely see his world ranking jump by approximately 100 places. It also takes South Africa’s winners on the European Tour to 35 and wins to 133. It also means that Brandon has now got a two year exemption on the European Tour and he can start playing with the freedom that his potential deserves (We picked Brandon as one to watch at the Alfred Dunhill Championships).
With much of the talk this week in the absence of Louis and Charl being about Branden Grace, it was another Brandon that stole the limelight and underlined the growing group of talented South African golfers taking on the World Stage. In light of all other nonsense going on in South Africa, Brandon Stone has given us another reason to be proudly South African. Lets hope this continues at the Joburg Open next week!
Follow Brandon on Twitter and give him some love for doing the country proud!