One year ago Brandon Stone shattered the course record at Gullane with a stunning closing 60 – then the joint lowest score round on the European Tour – to triumph in Scotland last year.
But is his record-breaking round the best in the three-year history of the Rolex Series?
We asked leading golf statistician Justin Ray to investigate.
By 15th Club’s Head of Content, Justin Ray
As well all know Stone shot a stunning ten under 60 on the final day to win last year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. But how did he do it? Let’s break it down…
Stone putted brilliantly that day, leading the field in strokes gained putting with 3.59 and needing just 1.17 putts per green in regulation – both staggering totals.
He was also brilliant off the tee, ranking third in the field in distance and second in driving accuracy.
Throw in terrific iron play – 15 greens in regulation, and 3.40 strokes gained approach (second-best in the field), and you have a recipe for an historic performance that nearly resulted in a score of 59.
The best of Rolex
Robert Rock shot the second round of 60 in Rolex Series history last week at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Something about the sublime play of geological surnames (Rock, Stone) – I wonder what they would do at Pebble Beach!
Jon Rahm’s 62 on Sunday to last week was the tenth round of 62 or lower in the young history of the Rolex Series. There have been the two aforementioned rounds of 60, one round of 61 – by Hideto Tanihara last year in Scotland – and seven different rounds of 62.
How do we compare greatness?
Which is the greatest?
Considering every factor, I’m going to have to go with Alex Noren’s 62 to win at Wentworth as the greatest round of the Rolex Series so far.
He started the final round seven shots behind in a tie for 21st place. No other player that day shot better than 65, and he wound up needing nearly every one of those birdies to win – he finished two shots ahead of Francesco Molinari in the end.
It’s tough to argue against Rock’s 60 last week – but give me Noren in this instance.
Find out more about 15th Club here: https://www.15thclub.com/#home