Brandon Stone is making his first start on the Sunshine Tour this season and while he admits to being a little rusty after a lengthy break, he maintains that the confidence to produce the goods at Arabella Country Club remains high.
He last played competitive golf at last month’s US PGA Championship where he came in a share of 12th after rounds of 66, 68, 70 and a closing 68.
‘I’ve been sitting on the couch for over three weeks, so yesterday was my second round of golf since the PGA Championship,’ said Stone from Kleinmond where he is teeing it up along his father in the Vodacom Origins of Golf.
‘I’m very rusty but today [in the pro-am] was much better so I am looking to build on that,’ he noted. ‘It was nice to get a few good shots running around the golf course and managed to hole a few putts today that I wasn’t able to yesterday. So, I’m very comfortable with where I am, confidence is still nice and high which is very good after a break. So, let’s see tomorrow afternoon what the first round has given me.’
Coming to this third event of the Vodacom Origins of Golf this season at the back of some solid results in Europe where he hasn’t missed a cut in his last five starts, and despite the break he took after the PGA Championship, Stone is always a genuine threat in any tournament he plays.
He is well aware of how much bite this golf course can dish out, especially when the gusting winds begin to pick up.
‘You have to take it hole-by-hole here,’ he said.
‘The wind makes it extremely tricky out there especially with the gust and a little bit of swirling. It’s quite amazing; you play this hole and there’s no breeze and then the next hole it’s a 40-50 km/h gust. You just try to keep it on the fairway, I know it’s cliche, but you just have to try and keep it in play.’
And, that he is still searching for his maiden Vodacom title makes this event special for the reigning Scottish Open winner, but more special is being in the same field as his father, the 10-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, Kevin.
‘It’s quite special to have my dad in the event,’ admitted Stone.
‘We’ve had a lot of fun in the last two days in the pro-am and hopefully we can emulate some of the success we had there in the tournament week.’
He admits, however, that he doesn’t get any sleepless nights over the fact that Kevin remains the only Stone to win in this 15-year-old series, but rather, it is just a useful tool for repartee every now and again.
Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images