World No. 371 Brandon Stone shot a European Tour record-tying 60 to win the Scottish Open.
In one of the best rounds in European Tour history, South African Brandon Stone shot a 10-under-par 60 to finish at 20-under and win the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open by four over England's Eddie Pepperell. The round of 60 at Gullane Golf Club—which included eight birdies and an eagle—ties the European Tour's single-round scoring record, as no player has ever shot 59 in the 46-year history of the Tour.
Stone had a 12-footer for birdie on 18 to shoot 59, but his birdie effort took a late turn left and did not drop. His 60 is the 19th such round in European Tour history, and it beats the Gullane course record of 61 that was set earlier this week.
Stone started the round three strokes behind ovenright leader Jens Danport and two behind a host of players at 12-under, including Rickie Fowler. The 25-year-old got off to an ideal start, birdieing his first two holes and adding two more birdies to turn in four-under 31.
He then birdied 10, 11, 14 and 15 to take a two-shot lead before coming to the par-5 16th. After reaching the green in two, Stone curled in a left-to-right putt for eagle to reach 20-under for the tournament and seize a four-shot advantage with two to play. He played safely to the center of the green on the par-3 17th before two-putting for par, then took an iron off the 18th tee en route to a routine par.
It is Stone's third European Tour victory—and one that gets him into next week's Open Championship at Carnoustie—and it came with little warning signs. He had missed four of his previous seven cuts, with his best finish in that stretch being a T-60 at the BMW Championship. His best finish of the European Tour season before Sunday was a T-22 at the Trophee Hassan II.
After Stone's eagle on 16 all but clinched the tournament, attention shifted to who would claim the three British Open exemptions at stake for the three highest finishers not already qualified. Stone took one of those spots, as did Stone by way of his solo-second finish, but 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immleman narrowly missed out on the third. Immleman, now 28 and spending most of his time in the broadcast booth, missed an eight-footer for birdie on 18 that would have sent him to Carnoustie. With his T-3 finish, however, he earns status on the European Tour for next season. His 10-year exemption for winning the Masters would have ended after this season.
The Scottish Open has long served as the last tournament before the Open Championship and has an impressive list of recent winners, including Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Alex Noren and Justin Rose. Mickelson, who won this tournament in 2013 the week before also winning the 2013 Open Championship, missed the cut after a two-day total of one-under, while Rose finished at 13-under.