What you missed this week: Brandon Stone narrowly missed out on the European Tour’s first 59; Dame Laura Davies dominated in Chicago; Michael Kim set a tournament-record at the John Deere Classic and Rickie Fowler was hitting a LONG ball at the Scottish Open
Around eight feet stood between Brandon Stone and the European Tour’s first ever 59, but his chance at history slipped by the hole and he was left to tap in for par, becoming the 18th person to shoot 60 in European Tour history.
But despite his miss for birdie, Stone still claimed the Scottish Open title in convincing fashion while booking his ticket to the 147th Open at Carnoustie.
The South African finished four-shots clear of nearest challenger Eddie Pepperell, posting a 10-under 60 which included eight birdies and an eagle around a sun-baked, fast-rolling Gullane. And it turns out, he wasn’t even aware at his chance for history until he reached the 18th green.
“It’s incredible,” Stone said after his win. “If I’m going to be brutally honest, I had no idea what my score was until I walked on to the 18th green.
“It was just one of those days where everything went well, hit it great, holed some beautiful putts, and obviously to walk away with 60 having missed an eight-footer was a slight disappointment, but I won’t really complain.
“My caddie came up to me and said, you don’t get putts like this too often, so I let him read it. I said as we walked on the green, I’m not reading this one. This is completely up to you. “I rolled it over his mark, but he did criticize my pace, he said it lacked a little bit of pace. So he probably is right. Didn’t hold its line, but we’ll take it.
“The putt on 16 is pretty much where you could say the tournament was won for me. I felt great. I knew I just needed to make three more good swings, and when that thing went home, the emotions came flooding in. I had to really struggle to keep it in.”
Laura Davies storms to a 10-shot victory at US Women’s Senior Open
Dame Laura Davies became the inaugural US Senior Women’s Open champion after putting on a dominant performance in Chicago to win by 10 shots over Juli Inkster.
Birdieing every single one of the five par-fives, Davies stormed to her 85th professional victory worldwide with a closing round of 68, and said afterward she considered the win ‘very high’ on her list of achievements.
The World Golf Hall of Famer had held a five shot lead heading in to the final round at the Chicago Golf Club and went on to post a bogey-free five-under to finish the tournament on 16-under-par.
Nearest challenger Juli Inkster (six-under) was just one of four players who finished under par for the tournament, two shots ahead of former European Solheim Cup player Trish Johnson, while Danielle Ammaccapane took solo fourth at one-under-par.
“I haven’t won for eight years, this is very high on my list of achievements, I can assure you,” said Davies.
“If you’ve done something like this – 16 under for four rounds around a proper championship course – it can’t do anything but fill you full of confidence.”
Michael Kim sets tournament record with win at John Deere Classic
Kim may have been an unlikely winner of the John Deere Classic at the start of the week given that he had missed his previous three cuts on the PGA Tour – but he found a winning formula at TPC Deere Run.
With a final-round 66 Kim comfortably claimed his first Tour title, setting a tournament record of 27-under-par in Illinois and earning the final Open qualifying series spot at Carnoustie.
Having begun the final round with a five shot lead, Kim proceeded to birdie his opening three holes to extend his lead to eight shots, before adding a further gain at the eighth for an opening 31 on the front-nine.
Following a run of seven successive pars around the turn, Kim then carded his only birdie of the back nine with a two at the par-three 16th, before parring his way in to finish eight shots clear of Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.
“It’s been a tough, tough first half of the year, but to be able to finish out in style like this means a lot,” Kim said after his win.
“I probably ran through a million different scenarios of how this day was going to pan out, starting from birdieing right out the gate to losing the five-stroke lead after four or five holes. It wasn’t all confidence, with the season that I’ve had, I think it’d be weird if I felt 100 percent confident that I was going to come out with a trophy this week.
“Even the last couple weeks, I felt like the game was there, it’s getting there, it’s getting there. I just felt like I needed just a couple good starts of the rounds and a couple good swings and felt like it was going to switch. Just got off to a great start on Thursday and kept it going on Sunday.”
Four final Open Series Qualifiers
Brandon Stone’s impressive course-record 60 and victory at the Scottish Open ensured he was one of three qualifiers for the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie.
“Winning this week is spectacular but the added bonus of getting into The Open next week at Carnoustie is phenomenal,” said Stone. “I’m thoroughly looking forward to it. Carnoustie does have a reputation and it seems like it does humble a lot of guys but I feel like I’m playing well and I look forward to getting there, doing my preparation and hopefully I can build on this result.
“If you had told me ten years ago, when I was 15, that I was going to win a links golf tournament I would have laughed at you, as a boy from South Africa doesn’t see links golf that often.”
Eddie Pepperell, who won his first European Tour event in February, also booked his place for his second ever Open appearance after finishing as the runner-up on 16-under-par.
The pair will be joined by third round leader Jens Dantorp, who held his nerve to tie for third place on 15-under-par with American Luke List and South African Trevor Immelman. With List already exempt for Carnoustie, the Swede pipped Immelman to the third qualifying place at Gullane thanks to his higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) at the beginning of the week commencing 9 July.
Michael Kim took the only spot available at the John Deere Classic with a convincing eight-shot victory at TPC Deere Run, claiming the tournament record of 27-under-par in the process.
WATCH: Rickie Fowler hit a ball 458 Yards during the Scottish Open
There were some LONG drives at the Scottish Open thanks to baked fairways, slopes and fairly calm conditions, but the biggest came from Rickie Fowler on Saturday during his third round.
Fowler stood on the par-4 10th tee and hit an astonishing tee shot, rolling down the fairway and resting at it’s final spot… 458-Yards away from the tee!