Brandon Stone won for the first time in almost three years after triumphing with a birdie at the first hole of a four man play-off at the Limpopo Championship.
The three-time European Tour winner posted a closing two under par round of 70 to join countrymen Oliver Bekker, Hennie du Plessis and Daniel van Tonder on eight under par after 72 holes at Euphoria Golf Club, meaning extra holes were required to determine a winner.
The quartet returned to the par five 18th tee and it was 2015 Challenge Tour graduate Stone who went on to triumph, as his birdie was enough to earn his first Challenge Tour victory with his three competitors all carding pars.
The 28-year-old is no stranger to tasting success and he is delighted to be back in the winner’s circle for the first time since his Rolex Series victory at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open in 2018, as well as finally earning his first Challenge Tour victory.
“I mentioned it to the guys at the start of the week, it’s one of those things that has been on the ‘grudge list’ with regards to professional golf,” he said. “I’m very happy to get that monkey off my back.
“Regardless of what anyone says, the Sunshine Tour and the Challenge Tour are tremendous Tours. These guys are hungry to play. These guys are cutthroat, they’re vicious, they’re brutal golfers, they want to win. You can see it by three other Sunshine Tour golfers being in the play-off.
“South Africans have typically been extremely difficult to beat on home shores and I have no doubt that I won’t be the only South African raising a Challenge Tour trophy over my head in the next couple of weeks.
“In saying that, every victory is special and to win at home is obviously a little bit more. I haven’t won in a few years, so to get that monkey off my back now is fantastic. We’re only in April, there’s a long season ahead and I’m just really looking forward to getting to Cape Town now.”
The leading European player was Scotland’s Craig Howie, who posted a closing three under par round of 69 to earn a share of fifth place on six under par alongside Australian Deyen Lawson, who carded a closing five under par 67, and South African duo Tristen Strydom and MJ Viljoen.
Norway’s Kristian Krogh Johannessen and South Africa’s Neil Schietekat completed the top ten by sharing ninth place on five under par.
The low round of the day, and the week, went to Denmark’s Niklas Norgaard Møller. The Dane bounced back from an eight over par 80 on day three with a bogey-free seven under par 65 on the final day in Modimolle.
After losing out in the play-off, Bekker and du Plessis take an early lead on the Road to Mallorca Rankings on 12,778 points, with Howie, Lawson and Strydom sharing second place on 4,524 points.
The Road to Mallorca now makes the trip to Royal Cape Golf Club for the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open, which takes place from April 29 – May 2, 2021.