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Stone on a roll in Mauritius

Stone on a roll in Mauritius

Brandon Stone continued to put his disappointing 2019 season behind him as he got right in contention heading into the weekend at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

Brandon Stone

The South African was already a two time European Tour winner when he claimed a Rolex Series victory at the 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and he had the world at his feet.

But he has achieved just three top tens since then, including a runner up finish at the Portugal Masters that saw him sneak inside the top 100 on the 2019 Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex.

After missing out on the three limited field Rolex Series events to finish the campaign, he started his 2020 season by making the cut at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, an event where he is a previous champion.

A 66-67 start at Heritage Golf Club has maintained his momentum, and Stone is excited heading into the weekend in the Indian Ocean.

The target for the weekend to is go as low as we can go, actually. The game feels quite comfortable

"Putting is an important component every week," he said. "I think that was the missing factor I had last week because I felt like I hit the ball as good last week as I am this week but I just didn’t convert. 

"It felt like your back was against the wall, whereas this week, I’m giving myself a lot of opportunities and managed to convert the majority of those and that’s why I see myself at the top of the leaderboard and not at the cut line like I was last week.

"The target for the weekend to is go as low as we can go, actually. The game feels quite comfortable and I know the guys on Tour will maybe tuck a few flags over the weekend, a little bit of breeze is forecasted. 

"It’s going to be a challenge and at the same time, there’s a lot of really top quality players in the field, so you’re going to go out and try to shoot as low as you can and, hopefully, by Sunday evening it’s going to be enough."

Another man bringing momentum to Mauritius is Thomas Detry and he was sat alongside Stone at 11 under after a second round 66.

The Belgian has two top tens in his last four starts and recovered from a slow start on Friday with the help of a stunning eagle at the par five 14th.

"Very happy," he said. "Shot five under yesterday, six under today. Really liking the course. I've played in these kind of conditions a few times, getting used to it. It was pretty windy yesterday, it was pretty tricky.

"On 14 I hit my driver a bit heely on the right, wasn't planning on leaving myself that long of a second shot. Hit it pure down the middle, never left the flag. It was a perfect spot and left myself tap in for eagle.

"I've been taking it very relaxed, haven't really practised too much. I've been playing well the last few weeks. I made it to Dubai after playing well in Sun City and Turkey. I've been relying on my confidence and it's been working."

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