LANSERIA, Johannesburg (Gauteng) – Brandon Stone predicts that this week’s Investec South African Open at Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate will be a true showcase of the growing strength of South African golf.
Stone returns as the 2016 winner of the second oldest national Open in golf and forms part of what he says is a field and a week that is going to display everything of the strength and future potential of South African golf.
“I have no doubt there will be a strong South African showing this year. You look at the field and the South Africans in there, and then a championship golf course designed by Gary Player, and I think this is one week where the fans can come and see first-hand how South African golf has moved to another level over the past few years. With the amount of golfers we have shining on the global stage, this is only a taste of what this country’s golfers have to offer for the years to come. I’ve just got a real feeling that this year’s Investec SA Open will be a true showcase of this,” said Stone.
The South African challenge this week is indeed a tantalising one and includes Charl Schwartzel, Dylan Frittelli, MJ Daffue, Branden Grace, Thriston Lawrence, Erik van Rooyen and Dean Burmester.
A second title this week would see Stone join a select group including Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman, Mark McNulty, Tony Johnstone and David Frost as having won their national Open twice.
“Being privileged enough to have my name alongside the likes of Ernie Els, Gary Player, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace and so many others is something I hold very close to my heart. Any time you get to win your national Open it’s something special in your golf career. I know this year there will be a lot of top South African golfers looking to add their names to the trophy. I’m looking to get my name on there again,” he said.
And Stone said he is looking forward to the challenge that the Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate course will pose.
“I think Blair Atholl will be an absolute test of the game. It’s a beast. The Blair Mile on the back nine is a true test of ball striking. You cannot miss a shot there. A par on those few holes is great. If the wind gets up the course will be even tougher.”