A 59 on the European Tour is like getting blood out of a stone. There’s never been one. We just about squeezed one out of Brandon Stone, though, during a thrilling conclusion to the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane last night

With the kind of rousing final round performance which should have been accompanied by the triumphant 20th Century Fox fanfare, the surging South African came within an eight-footer of history.

Those golfing gods don’t just hand out the records willy-nilly. Stone’s effort for a magical 59 on the last green slipped by the left edge and the 25-year-old slumped to his hunkers as the grandstand gave a collective gasp.

There was a considerable consolation, of course. Stone’s magical 10-under 60 saw him barge through the field and plunder the prize with a 20-under aggregate. He won by four shots from England’s Eddie Pepperell and put a tidy cheque for almost £900,000 into his bank account.

He also secured a tee-time for this week’s Open Championship at Carnoustie. “I was going on a whisky tour to Islay this week but I’d rather play Carnoustie,” he said cheerily after forcing a change of plans.

Stone became the 19th player to shoot a 60 on the European Tour. Going a shot lower, however, continues to be something of a holy grail.

“My caddie said to me on the last, ‘you don’t get a putt like this too often’,” said Stone as he mulled over the one that, ultimately, got away. “I said ‘I’m not reading this one, it’s completely up to you’.

“I rolled it over his line … but he did criticise my pace. He said it lacked a bit of pace and he was probably right. It didn’t hold its line but I’ll take the 60.”

With 26 players separated by just four shots heading into the final day, you could have picked any number of contenders in a kind of golfing pin the tail on the donkey.

Stone proved to be a real thoroughbred though as he captured his third European Tour title but his first outside of his native land. Without a top-10 finish on the main circuit since February 2017, this was quite a way to burst back into the limelight.

Stone dropped only three shots all week and was bogey-free over the closing 36-holes. “You could have asked me to hit any shot and I would have pulled it off,” he said. “It was one of those days when everything went right.”

Stone lost to Fife’s Brian Soutar in the final of the South African Open Amateur Championship six years ago. “If you’d asked Brian then if I’d win on a links course he would have chuckled,” said Stone, who readily admits his previous record in links golf was nothing to write home about. Its is now.

Overnight leader Jens Dantorp showed that he was up for the fight when his raking effort for an eagle on the second rattled the flag as he kept himself the top while a variety of other challengers made their presence felt.

Pepperell was one of those making menacing advances as he got himself on the birdie trail. Six birdies in 10 holes, including three in a row from the eighth, had him two shots clear of the field.

With folk keeping an eye on the likes of Rickie Fowler and the prowling Justin Rose, Stone almost seemed to creep up unnoticed. He was only three shots off the lead at the start of the day and a four-under outward half kept him in the merry midst of the title tussle.

The South African then unleashed the heavy artillery on the back nine and blasted his way to the front with a devastating onslaught.

Four more birdies and an eagle on the 16th had him within touching distance of that 59 but having signed for a 60 and the clubhouse lead it became clear that those in the groups behind wouldn’t catch him.

Pepperell took another of the Open slots while Dantorp’s share of third on 15-under gave him the final Carnoustie place on offer.

The American Luke List also finished on 15-under as he marked an emotional day with a closing 64.

“My dad loved Scottish golf, he passed away three years ago but we were able to spread some of his ashes around different parts of the area (in Scotland),” reflected List. “I know he’ll be looking down and smiling.”

Fowler, the winner of the Scottish Open at Gullane in 2015, shared sixth on 14-under while Stephen Gallacher posted his best finish of the season and his fourth top-10 in the Scottish Open by claiming a tie for ninth with Rose after a 66.

Connor Syme, the Fife rookie, birdied five of his last six holes in a 67 for an eight-under aggregate as he bolstered his push to safeguard his tour card.

Russell Knox, who was just two off the pace after three rounds, never recovered from a double-bogey on the first hole as he slithered out of the running with a 75 for a six-under total.

The day and the glory belonged to a rolling Stone with a swinging 60.