European Tour

SA's Stone a 1 000/1 outsider before Scottish Open win

Brandon Stone (AP)
Brandon Stone (AP)

London - South Africa's Brandon Stone came desperately close to the first 59 in European Tour history as he won the Scottish Open at the Gullane course near Edinburgh on Sunday.

Given he had been a 1 000/1 outsider ahead of the tournament and that this win saw him qualify for this week's Open Championship at Carnoustie, there was little reason for Stone to feel disappointed.

And yet, after a superb run of eight birdies and an eagle in his first 16 holes on Sunday, Stone needed to play the last two in one under par to break the famed mark of 60.

He made par on the 17th but then missed a birdie putt from eight feet on the last.

Nevertheless, Stone's outstanding round of 60 left him on 20 under par and set a clubhouse lead that never looked like being bettered.

Stone, who was 69th in the world after finishing tied for fourth at the 2017 Joburg Open, began this week 371st in the global standings.

The 25-year-old started his final round at Gullane three shots off the lead but covered the front nine in 31 and collected birdies on the 10th, 12th, 14th and 15th holes before sinking a curling eagle putt from 30 feet on the par-five 16th to give himself a chance of making golf history.

There will be 12 South Africans in the field this week: Stone, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Brandon Grace, Ernie Els, Zander Lombard, Retief Goosen, George Coetzee, Dylan Frittelli, Erik van Rooyen, Shaun Norris and amateur Jovan Rebula.

The Open Championship will tee off from July 19-22.

Leading scores after the fourth and final round of the Scottish Open at Gullane on Sunday (GBR and IRL unless stated, par 70):

260 - Brandon Stone (RSA) 70-64-66-60

264 - Eddie Pepperell 67-63-70-64

265 - Luke List (USA) 63-69-69-64, Trevor Immelman (RSA) 68-64-68-65, Jens Dantorp (SWE) 64-65-68-68

266 - Thomas Pieters (BEL) 68-68-64-66, Rickie Fowler (USA) 64-66-68-68, Ryan Fox (NZL) 67-68-63-68

267 - Dean Burmester (RSA) 68-67-65-67, Justin Rose 67-66-67-67, Stephen Gallacher 70-66-65-66, Tyrrell Hatton 65-64-70-68, Aaron Rai 69-63-67-68

268 - Scott Hend (AUS) 66-69-63-70, Marcel Siem (GER) 66-67-65-70, Andrea Pavan (ITA) 70-66-66-66, Matthew Fitzpatrick 68-66-64-70, Richard Sterne (RSA) 65-71-68-64

269 - Charley Hoffman (USA) 67-66-68-68, Alexander Bjork (SWE) 67-64-67-71, Danny Willett 66-68-69-66, Gavin Green (MAL) 69-67-65-68

270 Haotong Li (CHN) 66-65-71-68, Sam Horsfield 67-65-69-69, Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 67-69-64-70, Justin Walters (RSA) 66-69-67-68, Matthew Southgate 65-70-66-69, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 65-67-72-66, Patrick Reed (USA) 65-69-69-67

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