Brandon Stone came desperately close to the first 59 in European Tour history as he won the Scottish Open at the Gullane course to cement his spot in the DP World Tour Championship in November.
Nevertheless, the South African’s outstanding round of 60 left him on 20 under par and set a clubhouse lead that never looked like being bettered.
The 25-year-old’s phenomenal final round performance sees him catapult up the Race to Dubai Rankings from 144th to 14th.
The 2015 Challenge Tour graduate last featured in the DP World Tour Championship in 2016 but his win in Scotland means he has comfortably strengthened his place alongside the top 60 players in the Race to Dubai in the prestigious event in Dubai as well as booking a last-gasp spot in this week’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
“To stand here as the Scottish Open champion is really incredible,” said the Pretoria native. “A day when you shoot 60 and win the Scottish Open is something I’m going to hold dear to my heart for a very long time.”
England’s Eddie Pepperell was four shots adrift after a 64 which also saw him qualify for the British Open and meant he would not be needed for commentary work at the third Major of the year.
As a result of his second place finish, the 27-year-old climbed 45 places in the Race to Dubai Rankings from 61st to 16th.
“I think it’s probably going be to the first week where I don’t lose about six shots on the putting green over the course of a week,” said Pepperell who has had to ditch an upcoming radio commentary commitment after securing a spot in The Open.
“That has been my achillies heel for a year. By and large I’ve hit the ball very well, particularly with my irons. So, I’ve felt for a long time that there were certainly potential scores for me, and there’s been weeks where I’ve done it and most where I haven’t.”
Not much has changed at the top of the Race to Dubai with Masters champion Patrick Reed still leading the charge on 2,856,584 points, Sweden’s Alex Noren in second, reigning Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood in third and Italy’s Francesco Molinari in fourth still with 17 events left to play before the season concludes at Jumeirah Golf Estates.