Brandon Stone will make his third appearance in the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player at Sun City from November 8-11, with the young star hoping for another South African victory in the penultimate Rolex Series event on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.
Stone claimed the third European Tour victory of his career when he won the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open in July with a final round of 60 and in the fifth Rolex Series tournament of the season. He followed this with a finish of tied 12th in the PGA Championship, his best result in a Major.
“I’m delighted to be making my third appearance in the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player. To play in front of your home fans is always special, and particularly at Sun City. The support we get there as South African players is phenomenal,” said Stone.
Branden Grace’s victory in the 2017 Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player was the first home triumph in this event since 2007, and it has inspired Stone to try and add his name to this event’s illustrious list of champions.
“Last year Branden ended a lengthy drought between South African wins in ‘Africa’s Major’, and I’d love to follow him and add my name to that list.
“To be playing in the Rolex Series events on the European Tour ultimately means you are having a good season. My victory in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and then to finish tied 12th in the PGA Championship is validation of the hard work I have put into my game this season.”
The 25 year old Stone is currently 13th on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, and with two of his three European Tour victories having come on home soil, he will favor his chances at Sun City’s Gary Player Country Club.
He joins countrymen Grace and George Coetzee as the early confirmations in a field that also currently includes Major champions Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia.
Tournament host Gary Player said: “It’s always special to have our next generation of South African stars so committed to the future of the Nedbank Golf Challenge and golf in South Africa. Branden Grace’s victory last year has inspired so many of them to follow in his footsteps. The last time we had back-to-back South African wins in the Nedbank Golf Challenge was Ernie Els in 1999 and 2000.”
Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Sponsorship and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, said: “As sponsor of Africa’s Major, we are inspired by young talent such as Brandon who shine the beacon for the younger generation. The Nedbank Golf Challenge is about sustainability, and this can only be achieved by honing current and upcoming talent. We are excite about the field and look forward to another spectacular tournament.”
Anthony Leeming, Chief Executive of Sun International added: “We are delighted to welcome Brandon to this year’s tournament not only as a young star of South African golf but also as a Sun International ambassador. He adds immensely to what is shaping up to being one of our best fields in the tournament’s new status as part of the Rolex Series.”