Cape Town – Brandon Stone arrives back at the Alfred Dunhill Championship as the defending champion, but things are not what they used to be.
The Leopard Creek course has undergone a myriad of changes since the South Africans seven stroke victory 12 months ago, but that has done little to dampen Stone’s enthusiasm for the course, which is based on the fringes of the Kruger National Park.
“It is fantastic to come back here as a defending champion,” the 25-year-old told europeantour.com.
“Any time a privilege to come, Leopard Creek is quite special. They have done a lot of changes. Obviously (owner) Mr Johann Rupert wasn’t too happy about me winning by seven last time! So it is fantastic.
“The changes that have been made are fantastic. The new grass is one of my favourite grasses around the world. The condition of the golf course is ten out of ten. It should be a fun week.
“Anytime you get to come here, it is special. The environment is so relaxed, you feel like your entire aura, your entire energy just seems to chill down a few notches and you just feel comfortable. Whether that would be on a Monday, Tuesday or whether come Sunday afternoon, you just feel that you are at that ease level.”
Stone is coming off a T7 finish a the SA Open last weekend, his third top ten finish of 2018. In July, he picked up his third European Tour title at the Scottish Open, beating Eddie Pepperell by four strokes.