Stone well-placed after round one

21 November 2013 5:04 PM

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Stone well-placed after round one

Playing his first South African Open as a professional, Brandon Stone signed for a solid opening round of two under 70 at Glendower Golf Club on Thursday.

Stone had to pre-qualify for the co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tour event, and will be hoping to become the first pre-qualifier to go on to win the event since Tim Clark in 2002.

"I think hitting my driver well around here will be crucial, and hopefully a few putts will drop," he said.

"The way that I played today was very good, I gave myself plenty of opportunities for birdie, and a few putts singed the edges."

With a number of scores posted in the mid-60s, including Charl Schwartzel who carded a five under 67, Stone is well-placed heading into Friday's second round.

The newly-turned professional made it through a qualifier at Kempton Park Golf Club earlier in the week to earn his spot in the field.

Stone finished as the top amateur in 2011 in the SA Open when he finished in a share of 39th.

He also led by five shots at the SA Amateur championship, on the same course, after two rounds in 2012, and will have good course knowledge in his armoury.

"I played the junior All-Africa championship here about three years ago, and I played the SA amateur here in 2012," Stone said after his round.

"I played decently, so it made it more enjoyable. The wind was gusting, so sometimes it was playing like a two-club wind and other times there was no wind.

Stone said despite heavy downpours in the early hours of the morning, the course was in perfect condition.

"The conditioning of the course could not be better. The greens are rolling nice and quick, which promotes good putting."


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