The 22-year-old South African became the hottest new prospect around after starting off the year with a two-shot triumph at the BMW South African Open Championship in January.
His name was added to the trophy, joining an elite group that includes Gary Player, Bobby Locke and Ernie Els. On top of that the youngster rose to a career high of 118th in the world, netted more than R2.3-million, and earned an exemption to play on the European Tour for the next two years.
Born in Rustenburg, he takes after the other men in his family: his father and grandfather were successful golfers who enjoyed prosperous careers on the Sunshine Tour.
‘It was incredible having my grandfather and my father here this week … there’s going to be a few tears shed later … as there were earlier,’ said Brandon after winning the second-oldest national open in the world.
Having a dad who’s competed for years lends a hand to your mental game. Stone junior has lived with professional golf from before he could swing a club, and that first-hand experience prove invaluable during his victory at Glendower Golf Club. After dropping three shots around the turn on the final Sunday he made a comeback that included four birdies in five holes, all on his way to a breakthrough European Tour win.
The future star’s 2015 season set him up to produce fireworks in January. He played on the Challenge Tour last year and wrapped up the schedule with a sixth-place finish at the Grand Final to rank 14th on the final Order of Merit. He then returned to South Africa to compete at Lion of Africa Cape Town Open and immediately proved himself a worthy 72-hole champion with a five-shot victory at Royal Cape Golf Club.
Now a Durban resident, he once beat Jordan Spieth in a college game while he was a freshman at the University of Texas, Stone became the youngest winner of the South African Open Championship since Els in 1992.
The new champ has gathered no moss at the start of what looks to be an exhilarating career in the world of professional golf. Roll on the next Stone.