Cape Town - Brandon Stone will be joined by fellow Rolex
Series winners Russell Knox and Lee Westwood when he defends his Scottish Open title at the Renaissance Club from July
The trio all secured maiden Rolex Series
victories in 2018 and South African Stone, home favourite Knox and Englishman
Westwood will all be seeking to add to that tally when they tee it up once
again in Scotland, the Home of Golf, in the third Rolex Series event on the
2019 Race to Dubai.
Defending champion Stone stormed to his
third European Tour victory in the Scottish Open
with a final round 60.
He carded eight birdies and an eagle in his first 16
holes at Gullane Golf Club, and his scintillating ten-under par effort was
almost one better, as he missed from seven feet on the 72nd hole for
what would have been the first 59 in European Tour history - a feat that was
achieved by Oliver Fisher just a few months later.
Stone said: "The Sunday of the Scottish Open was an incredible day, and I’m looking
forward to returning just a few miles along the coast to the Renaissance Club
to defend my title.
"I holed some beautiful putts, and of
course it would have been great to sink that one on the last for a bit of
history, but no matter what I was very proud to get my hands on that
prestigious trophy and seal my first Rolex Series win too. I can't wait to start
my defence in July."
a Rolex Series win to his 2015 WGC-HSBC Champions crown when he completed the
biggest comeback in the history of the Irish Open.
the final round six shots off the lead and holed
a stunning 40-foot putt on the 72nd hole to force a play-off against New
Zealand's Ryan Fox. He then did it again in almost identical fashion to win on
the first extra trip up the last, just a week before Stone sealed his
win in Scotland.
He is now set to make his sixth consecutive appearance in his
Knox said: "It's always a pleasure to play in front of your home crowd, the
extra energy the Scottish fans give you is fantastic.
"The Scottish Open is always one of my favourite weeks of the year.
After winning a WGC and a Rolex Series event, you could say that I thrive in
those high-pressure situations, and of course I would love to replicate that in
Former world No 1 Westwood also returned to winning ways in some style in 2018, as he
produced a stunning closing round of 64 to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
The 1998 Scottish Open
champion sealed his first victory since the Maybank Championship in Malaysia
four years earlier, birdieing five of his last eight holes in South Africa to
prevail over Major Championship winners Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen.
It was an emotional
victory for Westwood, as his first Rolex Series title took his tally to a
remarkable 24 on the European Tour and 43 worldwide.
"I always enjoy
coming back to Scotland. It's a tournament that I've won before and right now
the game feels like it's in a good place so I'm looking forward to the
challenge," he said.
"It's no secret that I
was a bit emotional after the win in South Africa. You're never sure whether
you're going to be able to do it again, and I'm pleased to have continued that
form into the 2019 season."