Sunday, July 15, 2018

Brandon Stone shoots a 60 at Gullane in Scottish Open

South Africa's Brandon Stone equalled the lowest round of 60 in European Tour history to win the $7,000,000 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open by four strokes over the Gullane links at East Lothian today.

The 25-year-old became the 18th player to shoot 60 on the European Tour – Darren Clarke has done it twice – and the fourth to do so on a Sunday on their way to lifting the trophy.

Stone's scintillating ten-under-par effort was almost one better though – he missed from seven feet on the last for what would have been the first 59 in European Tour history.

He carded eight birdies and an eagle in his first 16 holes at Gullane and needed to play the last two in one under par to break the magical 60 barrier.

A clubhouse target of 20 under par never looked like being matched as Stone recorded his third European Tour title, and also claimed one of three places in the field at next week's Open Championship.

The others went to runner-up Eddie Pepperell, who raced to the turn in 30 and briefly led by two shots before Stone's barrage of birdies saw him overhauled, and Sweden's Jens Dantorp.

A closing 64 saw England's Pepperell finish on 16 under, with overnight leader Dantorp carding a 68 to finish alongside South Africa's Trevor Immelman (65) and American Luke List (64) on 15 under.
List already had a spot in the field at Carnoustie, and Dantorp pipped 2008 Masters Tournament champion Immelman by virtue of his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Stone began the final round three shots off the lead but covered the front nine in 31 and picked up birdies on the tenth, 12th, 14th and 15th before holing a curling eagle putt from 30 feet on the par-five 16th to set up his shot at history.

“It's incredible,” Stone said. “If I'm going to be brutally honest, I had no idea what my score was until I walked on to the 18th green. 

“It was just one of those days where everything went well, hit it great, holed some beautiful putts, and obviously to walk away with 60 having missed an eight-footer was a slight disappointment, but I won't really complain.

“My caddie came up to me and said, you don't get putts like this too often, so I let him read it. I said as we walked on the green, I'm not reading this one. This is completely up to you.

“I rolled it over his mark, but he did criticise my pace, he said it lacked a little bit of pace. So he probably is right. Didn't hold its line, but we'll take it.

“The putt on 16 is pretty much where you could say the tournament was won for me. I felt great. I knew I just needed to make three more good swings, and when that thing went home, the emotions came flooding in. I had to really struggle to keep it in.

“Hopefully I can find accommodation (for the Open)!”

par 280 (4x70)
260 B Stone (SAfr) 70 64 66 60
264 E Pepperell (Eng) 67 63 70 64
265 L List (USA) 63 69 69 64, T Immelman (SAf) 68 64 68 65, J Danthorpe (Swe) 64 65 68 68
266 T Pieters (Belgium) 68 68 64 66, R Fowler (USA) 64 66 68 66, R Fox (NZ)
67 68 63 68
267 S Gallacher (Sco) 70 66 65 68, J Rose (Eng) 67 66 67 67, D Burmester (SAf) 68 67 65 67, A Rai (Eng) 69 63 67 68, T Hatton (Eng) 65 64 70 68

272 C Syme 71 62 72 67 (T32)
274 R Knox 66 67 66 75 (T49)
276 J McLeary  68 68 72 68, D Stewart 70 64 71 71 (T58)



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