European Tour

Stone proud of Oman effort despite playoff loss

Brandon Stone (Getty Images)
Brandon Stone (Getty Images)

Cape Town - South African golfer Brandon Stone believes his next win is not far off following a playoff defeat at the Oman Open.

Stone and Finland's Sami Valimaki were tied on 13-under and went head-to-head at the Al Mouj Golf in Muscat on Sunday.

The pair twice halved the 18th hole in pars, but when Stone sent his approaching shot into the stand on the third time around, a par was enough to hand Valimaki his maiden European Tour victory.

Following his narrow defeat, Stone insisted he was proud of his performance and hinted that a fourth European Tour title could be on its way.

"Obviously I'm a little disappointed but I'm really proud with how I played over the last four days," Stone said.

"It feels like I'm closer again. My confidence and swing are starting to come back. I'm feeling really comfortable and unfortunately, I came up a little shy but the best thing about our job is I get to try again on Thursday.

"We're professional sportsmen and full of emotion which showed with my putt on the 18th in regulation. I knew I needed to hole that to give myself a sniff. I managed to get it done. We leave it all out on the line, a lot of time and effort goes into this."

Stone's second place finish saw him pocket a cool €176 747.56 (R3 million) and move up 55 places on the World Golf rankings to 160th.

His performance also saw him shoot up to 18th on the European Tour's Race to Dubai rankings.

Stone will tee up for this week's Qatar Masters at the Education City GC in Doha, which is scheduled to get underway on Thursday.

- Compiled by Lynn Butler

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