Haydn Porteous and Zander Lombard, with a win and runner-up finish at the Jo’burg Open respectively, secured their playing privileges back in January, while Brandon Stone with a tie-fifth finish at the Open de France, secured his spot in the coveted event only two weeks ago.
Stone started the year in magnificent fashion, securing the BMW SA Open Championship at Glendower Golf Club, and he has gone on to produce some scintillating golf on the European Tour. Four top-10 finishes including a tie-second at the Shenzhen International and the current world number 92 heads into The Open with all the confidence a 23-year-old could have.
It’s a different story for Porteous. Since his win at the Jo’burg Open, Porteous has only managed to make seven out of 14 cuts on the European Tour and only one in his last six appearances. However, the talented 22-year-old can certainly turn the tables at Royal Troon and get back on track.
Unlike Stone and Porteous, Lombard is still set to win on the European Tour. This doesn’t mean his golf has been off-kilter, as the 21-year-old has certainly raised eyebrows on the European Tour this season. A fifth place finish at the Lyoness Open powered by Sporthilfe Cashback Card and a seventh place finish at the Tshwane Open fit beautifully with his runner-up finish at the Joburg Open.
The three youngsters, fearless and exuberant, will no doubt fly the South African flag proudly at golf’s oldest major championship, and along with Ernie Els, George Coetzee, Richard Sterne, Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel, South African hopes look as bright as ever.