In one week’s time he’ll tee up in China at the Foshan Open, which carries an impressive $500,000 prize fund and could secure an outright membership into Europe.
Stone has been consistent throughout his season on the Challenge Tour, which began with a runner-up finish at the Barclays Kenya Open. Since then he’s added four more top-10s to his resume on the feeder tour, including a sole-second finish at the Gant Open one month ago.
The former South African number one amateur has taken up 14th in the Race to Oman for his efforts and needs one last push to convert his season’s achievements into a European Tour card.
At the close of this week’s event the leading 45 earners on the Challenge Tour will play the Grand Final, so it really is crunch time.
At the close of the season the top 15 players on the Order of Merit earn a European Tour card for the 2016 season and Stone has been eyeing that achievement since the beginning of the year.
In a recent interview with Compleat Golfer he said “The Challenge Tour is so difficult because you can finish 15th every week and still miss your card by €50,000. You need to finish in the top five to break even. Right now it’s my priority because it is where I have to be to get into the top 15 and get my European Tour card.”