Brandon Stone arrived at Leopard Creek fresh off a tied-second finish in his title defence of the Cape Town Open. He continued the good form with a Thursday round of 67 to lead early in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
The 23-year-old eagled the iconic 13th hole, which overlooks Kruger National Park, to highlight an impressive first round of five under par.
Stone won the SA Open in January, played the Olympics in August, and made the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship.
In the space of a year he’s become one of South Africa’s best players, and it showed at Leopard Creek on Thursday, where he made one bogey all day.
Stone teed off on the 10th hole and pencilled in two birdies, along with the eagle, to turn at three under par. On the front side he picked up further birdies at the second and sixth, but dropped a shot in between at the fourth hole before signing for 67.
The eagle on 13✔️
Early scoring conditions✔️
Knowing your Dad will be upset with your shot selection ✔️
— Sunshine Tour (@Sunshine_Tour) December 1, 2016
The world number 107 got to the clubhouse one stroke ahead of seven players tied for second place, including former champion Richard Sterne.
Justin Harding also tied for second place last week at Royal Cape Golf Club and joined the chasing pack who were at four under par.