Cape Town - When Brandon Stone tees off at the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open on Thursday, it will be great for the young golfer to make a successful defence of his title and set a new record.
Stone captured last year’s event at the same venue, Royal Cape Golf Club, marking his first professional win, by carding a score of 16 under-par 276 to be crowned champion.
This was the biggest winning margin by a golfer since the event was first played in 2012 and won by Jake Roos with nine under-par 279.
The second-biggest margin win was a -14 for 274 registered by Tjaart van der Walt in 2013, followed by Jaco Ahlers’ card in 2014 that reflected -12 for 276.
Stone’s leaderboard reading makes the Rustenburg-born player, who also campaigns on the European Tour, the Cape Town Open’s top scorer so far.
He left no doubt about his ability and was ecstatic to claim his maiden victory in the Mother City, pocketing R1.5 million in prize money.
Sunshine Tour officials believe the 23-year-old stands a good chance of making a successful title defence by winning with an even bigger margin, given his good form at the moment.
Sunshine Tour chief operating officer Grant Wilson said: “There are great players who will be out to impress during the event, but Stone’s current great run suggests he might win again.
“It will be good for the tournament and himself to win and become the first player to make it two in a row in this young competition.”
Stone capped an impressive record this year that saw him capture the SA Open at Glendower Golf Club in Edenvale, Gauteng, in January. He carded an impressive 14 under-par 274.
In doing so, Stone captured his first European Tour co-sanctioned showdown and pocketed R15m in prize money.
Stone, who turned professional in 2013, finished 69th at the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City last Sunday.
As he competes at the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which ends on Sunday, Stone will be aiming at bagging his second European Tour trophy.
Other top golfers who have registered to compete at the Cape Town showdown are locals Hennie Otto and Keith Horne, as well as Denmark’s Morten Ørum Madsen.