Brandon Stone put four shots between himself and his father in the first round of the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open – and he hopes to keep it that way for the rest of the tournament.
Stone junior carded a five-under-par 67 to his dad’s 71, and, for him, it was the start of some sweet revenge for a defeat he suffered at the hands of his father during a practice round on Wednesday.
When Brandon was asked about his ambitions for next week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge – a spot in which is the carrot dangling enticingly for the winner of the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open – he was quick to talk about his priorities: “It would be a dream to play in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, but right now I need to focus on trying to beat my dad this week, because he gave me a good lesson on Wednesday morning, so I need to try and get back at him for that.”
Brandon is just 21, and in his rookie year on the Sunshine Tour, is in 41st position on the Order of Merit. Dad Kevin has been a Sunshine Tour professional for 17 years of his son’s young life, and has four victories on the tour to his credit.
With Brandon’s career ahead of him, a good performance at the Royal Cape Golf Club – even if he doesn’t win and play at Sun City next week – will be a good way to finish off his first year on the Sunshine Tour.
And his first round was a good way to start. “I played solidly the whole day,” he said. “I made a few good putts on the back nine for pars and for birdies, and a 67 in today’s conditions was what I needed.
“I had a silly three-putt on one of the par-threes, and I hit one bad tee shot on a par-four, and had to chip out sideways. Other than that, it was rock-solid golf. I hit good shots the whole day. If you hit the ball well, you can definitely score that. I only missed one green on the front nine, and I knew that if I kept that up, I’d give myself a lot of opportunities for birdies. And the way that I’m putting now, I’m going to make a lot of them.”
And even with a four-stroke edge over his dad, there’s still work to be done!