Brandon Stone shot a remarkable round of 60 to break the course record at Gullane Golf Club on the final day of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open as he powered to victory in the Rolex Series event by four strokes to cement his spot in the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Earth course from November 15-18 in emphatic style.
The South African’s phenomenal final round performance was enough to help him overcome a log-jammed leaderboard and get his hands on the hefty winner’s cheque of €999,246 which sees him catapult up the Race to Dubai Rankings from 144th to 14th. The 2015 Challenge Tour graduate last featured in the DP World Tour Championship in 2016 but his big win in Scotland means he has comfortably cemented his place alongside the top 60 players in the Race to Dubai in the prestigious event in Dubai as well as booking a last-gasp spot in this week’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
“To stand here as the Scottish Open champion is really incredible,” said 25 year old Stone. “A day when you shoot 60 and win the Scottish Open is something I'm going to hold dear to my heart for a very long time."
Eddie Pepperell finished runner-up in Gullane which was also was enough to book his place in the DP World Tour Championship as he climbed from 61st to 16th in the Race to Dubai Rankings to get his renaissance season back on track. The Englishman lost his European Tour card in 2016 and had to regain it through Q-School but was victorious for the first time on the European Tour at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters earlier this season. He’s struggled for results since that win in Doha and his impressive showing in Scotland will provide a much-needed injection of confidence heading into the business end of the season.
“I think it's probably going be to the first week where I don't lose about six shots on the putting green over the course of a week,” said Pepperell who has had to ditch an upcoming radio commentary commitment after securing a spot in The Open. “That has been my achillies heel for a year. By and large I've hit the ball very well, particularly with my irons. So, I've felt for a long time that there were certainly potential scores for me, and there's been weeks where I've done it and most where I haven't.”
Jens Dantorp, a 2017 Challenge Tour graduate, secured his best result of the season with a tied-third place finish alongside South Africa’s Trevor Immelman and Luke List of the USA to bag the last remaining spot at Carnoustie for what will be his Major championship debut. The Swede also now has a fantastic chance of returning to the UAE, where he was victorious in the 2017 Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge, to play in the DP World Tour Championship.
Immelman’s first worldwide top-ten finish in over four years sees him climb from 178th to 62nd in the Rankings.
Not much has altered at the top of the Race to Dubai with Masters champion Patrick Reed still leading the charge on 2,856,584 points, Sweden’s Alex Noren in second, reigning Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood in third and Italy’s Francesco Molinari in fourth still with 17 events left to play before the season concludes at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.