Stone sinks the field in Scottish Open thriller

Gullane starred as the host of the Scottish Open
Gullane starred as the host of the Scottish Open

Attention now turns fully to the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie this weekend.

But before that, the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open proved it was so much more than just a warm up event for the Major.

The past four days at Gullane had absolutely everything, right down to the final few putts.

Course records were beaten, beaten again and then again.

Champions from across the globe arrived and ensured the scoring was low across each day.

The Scottish contingent in the field left their mark on their home Open.

The eventual winner, Brandon Stone, went agonisingly close to a 59 as he equalled the lowest round in European Tour history.

Add to that glorious sunshine and bumper crowds and golf fans really were treated to something memorable.

The 25 year old Stone became the 18th player to shoot 60 on the European Tour – Darren Clarke has done it twice – and the fourth to do so on a Sunday on their way to lifting the trophy.

His ten under par effort was almost one better though – he missed from seven feet on the last for what would have been the first 59 in European Tour history.

“It's incredible,” Stone said. “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."

But it wasn't just the foreign players, including popular American Rickie Fowler, who made their mark at Gullane.

On Thursday Kirkcaldy's Peter Whiteford reammerged from the wilderness and put together an opening 65 which put him one shot off the lead and reminded fans why he spent five years on the European Tour before his recent retirement.

On Friday Whiteford passed the baton to 23-year-old Connor Syme, the Drumoig pro shooting a then course record 62 which was bettered on the day by a stroke by Hideto Tanihara before Stone's last round heroics.

Linlithgow's Stephen Gallagher was another to bounce back to form, carding 70, 66, 65 and 66 on his way to a tournament -13 and a top 10 finish.

The highlights from the tournament go on and on, with the east coast of Scotland showing why it can boast of being the home of links golf.

We'll do it all over again at Carnoustie this week, and if it's half as good as the Scottish Open, we're in for a treat.