Defending champ Brandon Stone revisits scene of Scottish Open triumph

Brandon Stone speaks to the media during practice for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open. Picture: Kevin C. Cox/Getty
Brandon Stone speaks to the media during practice for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open. Picture: Kevin C. Cox/Getty
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Brandon Stone took an enjoyable trip down memory lane at Gullane on Monday night but wasn’t brave enough to try again with the putt that would have seen him shoot the first 59 in European Tour history.

The South African had the opportunity from seven feet in the final round of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at the East Lothian course 
12 months ago but sank to his knees as the putt at the 18th agonisingly missed on the left.

His consolation was the biggest victory of his career and, after arriving on Scotland’s Golf Coast for his title defence, albeit at a different venue this year, Stone took the chance to return to the scene of that triumph.

“My dad, Kevin, wasn’t here last year, so I took him to Gullane after we arrived quite late on Monday and we stood on 18 green and tried to recreate the putt that we had. It was quite cool taking a trip down memory lane, but I never even took the putter away as I couldn’t handle the emotional scarring!”

Having shown signs of a return to form last week with an encouraging effort in the Irish Open at Lahinch, the 26-year-old is now looking forward to a new challenge at The Renaissance Club.

“It’s definitely not boring,” he said of the Tom Doak-designed course. “The greens are quite severe with a lot of tricky sloping and it should prove a true test. If the wind picks up like it might, that typical Scottish links breeze, it might be a little bit more penal. But the course is in fantastic condition, it really is, and the greens are great.”