Brandon Stone carded a final round 68 to end as South Africa’s top performer at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club on Sunday.
Stone started off slowly with two bogeys in his first four holes but arrested that run with a birdie at the fifth. A birdie at 11 set the recent Scottish Open winner up for a big finish and he didn’t disappoint as he played bogey-free before further gains at 14 and 15.
The 23-year-old narrowly missed out on a top 10 finish but a T12 at the year’s final Major is another step in the right direction with his early season struggles now a distant memory.
Two back of Stone’s mark was Branden Grace, who matched his younger countryman’s final round effort. It proved to be a stop-start Sunday for Grace as he failed to keep the bogeys off his card.
Drops at the fourth and twelfth holes prevented him from joining Stone as he settled for a share of 27th place.
Dylan Frittelli finished one adrift of Grace and like Stone, had to overcome a slow start.
The former University of Texas star was two over through five but closed with three birdies, thanks to a chip in on 16 and a 35+ foot putt on the last, in his final four holes to card a closing 68.
It was a bitterly disappointing Sunday for Charl Schwartzel, who tumbled 36 places down the leaderboard after a 75.
The former Masters champion started the day in a share of sixth but failed to make a single birdie on Sunday as he left Bellerive left to ponder what went wrong after showing so much promise through 54 holes.
At the top of the leaderboard, it was Brooks Koepka who claimed his second Major of the season and his third in six starts in golf’s elite events after his 66 was enough to hold off a charging four-time PGA champion Tiger Woods, who closed with a 64 to move past Adam Scott in second alone.