The 2017 Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex is officially underway, with Brandon Stone leading the way in the season-long marathon following his second European Tour career victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in his native South Africa.
Stone produced a fine final round of five under par 67 at Leopard Creek Country Club to put the seal on a magnificent performance, which saw him finish the week on 22 under par and seven shots clear of his nearest challenger – countryman Richard Sterne.
Having picked up 190,200 Race to Dubai points in South Africa, Stone sets the early pace in the Race to Dubai, with Sterne his closest challenger after picking up 138,000 points for his solo second place finish at the Dunhill.
"To get this win before Christmas is obviously great but more importantly it gets me a good start on the Race to Dubai,” said Stone. “I finished 50th in the 2016 Race to Dubai a couple of weeks ago, and I want to build on that this year and this is the perfect stepping stone to do that.”
Currently sitting third is Australia’s Andrew Dodt, who took second spot behind Harold Varner III at the Australian PGA Championship to get his season off to a flying start with 117,083 points. As Varner III is not a Member of the European Tour, his points do not count on the Race to Dubai.
While the top three spots on the Race to Dubai are occupied by players from the southern hemisphere, Belgium’s Thomas Detry is the leading European after his third place finish at Leopard Creek.
Detry, who joins compatriots Nicolas Colsaerts and Thomas Pieters on the European Tour this year, graduated from the 2016 Challenge Tour and is widely regarded as one of Europe’s future stars. The 22 year old certainly made a fast start to his first season on the Race to Dubai, picking up 83,040 points to move ahead of Australia’s Ashley Hall.