SA Amateurs chase title wins of Schwartzel, Stone

Multiple European Tour winner Brandon Stone says next week’s Oxigen Prince’s Grant National Amateur Invitational tournament always awakened in him the same feeling Jordan Spieth must have every time he steps onto Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters.

The 72-hole tournament will be played at the Prince’s Grant Golf Estate starting Monday and it remains one of the most sought-after titles in South African amateur golf.

It has an illustrious list of past champions including Stone, former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, European Tour winner Haydn Porteous, and a host of current Sunshine Tour professionals.

“Prince’s Grant is one of those golf courses where you show up the first time and you just go, ‘Wow, I like this place’,” says Stone, who is the only player in the 21-year history of this tournament to have won it back-to-back in 2011 and 2012.

“I liken it to what Jordan Spieth must feel when he returns to Augusta National. Somehow when he walks through the gates there he automatically finds form no matter how he’s playing. For me, Prince’s Grant is like that.

“I always loved that tournament and I know most of the amateurs have felt the same way. I think it will remain a very prominent event for a long time.”

Schwartzel won the tournament in 2002, the same year he rose to the number one ranking in South African amateur golf, while Porteous added his name to the list of champions in 2013.

Amongst the tournament’s other winners are Sunshine Tour professionals Christiaan Basson, Jbe Kruger and Luke Jerling.

Next week’s event has seven of the country’s top 20 amateurs competing and led by Central Gauteng’s Marco Steyn, while Southern Cape’s Martin Vorster and Ekurhuleni’s Jayden Schaper have both already won on the amateur circuit this year.

Written and released by Michael Vlismas

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