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BRANDON Stone lifted his first professional trophy at the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open after shooting a final-round 70. leaving the field five shots behind.

Its tough when youve got to close it out. That middle portion of the back nine is tricky at Royal Cape and I hit a few snags along the way, so its nice to come through like I did and to sign that scorecard, he said.

The 22-year-old and his father, Kevin, played in and made the cut at this weeks R1.2-million tournament. His dad was the first to congratulate him at the 18th green.

I couldnt ask for anything more. To not only play in the event with him, but to win it and share a hug with him after walking off the 18th is story book [stuff]. Its definitely something Ill remember for the rest of my life, he said.

Stone left no doubt as to his ability and was 16 under par for the week after carding rounds of 73, 66, 63, 70 at Royal Cape Golf Club. He was ecstatic to claim his maiden victory in the Mother City.

It was always going to be special, no matter where I won, but to have it here at Royal Cape makes it that little bit more special. Im going to have a nice braai with the family tonight and take it all in, he said.

Conditions were tough for the third round on Saturday. Stone got rolling in spite of the tough weather and shot a near-flawless 63 to take a threeshot lead into the final round.

Yesterday, he started with a birdie at the first and never looked back, making the turn in 34 to leave the other contenders playing for second.

He had a shaky spell where he made bogeys at the 14th and 16th. He brought a shot back after draining a 4.5m birdie putt at the 17th and it was plain sailing from there.

A fortnight ago, the former SA No 1 amateur earned a European Tour card, which, coupled with this victory, made his future look very bright.

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