Stone wins maiden Tour title in South Africa

Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:24am EST
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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Home golfer Brandon Stone completed a maiden European Tour victory after a roller-coaster final round at the South African Open that included six bogeys in seven holes on Sunday.

An emotional Stone finished the tournament on 14 under par at the Glendower Golf Club, two shots ahead of compatriot Christiaan Bezuidenhout following a remarkable fourth round that had just five pars.

The 22-year-old Stone carded a 71 containing seven birdies and six bogeys as his fortunes swung wildly under the hot African sun.

Bezuidenhout, 21, carded a 67 for his 12-under-par total. A shot back in third was Englishman Daniel Brooks, who bogeyed the last for a disappointing 72 and an 11-under-par score.

Stone had established a two-shot lead during the rain-hit third round that had to be finished on Sunday morning.

He then raced into a five-shot lead in what seemed an unstoppable charge for his home championship before bogeying six of the seven holes between the fifth and 11th in his final round.

A birdie on the eighth was his only respite, but after stopping the rot with another birdie on the par-four 12th Stone’s fortunes swung again as he picked up shots on four of the next five holes.

“I don’t have the vocabulary to describe how I feel right now, that round was the most up and down one I have had in my life,” Stone told reporters.

He was in tears on the 18th green and said the round mirrored his recent golfing fortunes.   Continued...