GOLF WORLD COLLEGE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
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Brandon Stone, Texas
This summer Barry Havenga, an editor for Golf Digest South Africa, gave me a head's up about the 19-year-old from Pretoria joining the Longhorns this fall (following countryman and recent UT grad Dylan Frittelli), noting not just his talent but his maturity. Inevitably, the Golf World's preseason Players to Watch list has a No. 51 and 52, which explains why Stone's name didn't appear in our package. But with a nine-under 63 at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic in just his second-ever college round, Stone made an impressive debut. By posting 11 3s on his scorecard and seven birdies in his final 10 holes, Stone tied UT's lowest 18-hole round in relation to par, previous set by David Gossett at the 2000 NCAA Championship and broke the tournament record of 64.
Stone followed it up with a final-round 72 at The Farm in Dalton, Ga., to win medalist honors (12-under 204) by two strokes over teammate Jordan Spieth and Georgia's T.J. Mitchell.
He also helped the defending NCAA champions claim the team title (13-under 851), defeating Georgia by five strokes and third-place Alabama by 14. Stone's 63 was a key part of the Longhorns' eye-opening 22-under 266 score in the second round, a tournament record and the lowest single-round score since coach John Fields took over the program in 1997.