Sunshine Tour

Stone seeking first Origins of Golf title in Dullstroom

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

Dullstroom - Brandon Stone will attempt to win his first title in the series in the opening tournament of the 2017 series at Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate which tees off on Thursday.

The 2016 South African Open champion headlines the field in the 54-hole event for a R750 000 prize fund as the Sunshine Tour gets its traditional 'winter swing' underway.

Stone's father Kevin's last win on the Sunshine Tour came in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Pezula in 2006.

He does so with the full understanding that he has some family business to sort out.

"I am fully aware that my Dad has won in the series and I haven't," said 24-year-old Stone.

"He reminded me of that recently. And I'm determined to balance things out."

Stone is back in South Africa for a short break between last week's Open Championship and the year's final major, the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 10.

"Things worked out perfectly for me to play at Highland Gate," he said.

"I've been playing for seven weeks, and to be able to get in some active rest ahead of the PGA Championship is great.

"I played Highland Gate in December, and I immediately saw the course is something special.

"The date of the Vodacom event was a good time for me, and it's going to be nice to catch up with friends - and also to do some fishing, even though I'm horrendous at it! I hope some of my friends will teach me.

"But, make no mistake, I'm showing up to try and win. And I'm under no illusions that the local Sunshine Tour players are going to be super-hungry after a long break," he added.

And, in keeping with Stone's theme of mixing business with pleasure this week, he and his fiancée will be looking at a wedding venue in nearby Dullstroom after the event.

In the event, he will be up against the likes of JC Ritchie and Riekus Nortje, who have already won on the 2017/18 Sunshine Tour, as well as players like Jared Harvey and Ockie Strydom who have come so close to taking their maiden Sunshine Tour titles and who will be keen to get the job done as soon as possible.

"I know that every time I come home, I've got a massive bullseye on my back," said Stone,

"The boys are no slouches. There are so many young players who are going to make their way onto bigger stages like the European Tour in the future. It's going to be a great event."

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