Brandon keeps it tidy in Madeira

15_CHA_MAD_RD1_WEBBrandon Stone kept mistakes to a minimum during the first round of the Madeira Islands Open and carded 68 to share 15th place on day one.

The 22-year-old has finished in the top 35 during his last two starts on the European Challenge Tour, and has a real chance to prove his worth in Madeira this week.

This week at Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra he’s played his way to a share of 15th and must now capitalise on such a hot start.

The former South African Amateur Stroke Play champion began his professional career with a 10th-place finish at the BMW International Open in 2013, despite playing off a sponsor’s invitation and having no prior experience on the European Tour.

That same year he shared fourth place at the Challenge Tour’s National Bank of Oman Classic, where he shot a Sunday 68 to vault up the leaderboard.

The young Pretoria local gained playing privileges to the Challenge tour for 2014 and was able to convert the opportunity into top-25 results five times that year. He also produced top-20s at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the Joburg Open.

He began the 2015 Challenge Tour season with a playoff for the Barclays Kenya Open, where he had to settle for second place after his compatriot Haydn Porteous made eagle on the first extra hole.

Stone has been a regular on the European feeder tour since then, missing just three cuts in nine starts.

This week in Madeira he looks set to play the weekend, but his young hunger will look for more than just another cut made. During the first round he played through the second nine in 33, avoiding mistakes and adding gains at the 11th, 12th, and 16th.

He’ll be confident during the second round on Friday, and will surely look to consolidate on his position as he heads into the weekend.

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