Conor Stone set for Abu Dhabi test as he targets G4D top-10

Ronan MacNamara
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Conor Stone (Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

Conor Stone had a trophy laden maiden year on the EDGA Tour last season, picking up individual titles in Belgium and England while he also enjoyed team success with Ireland at the European Team Championships in Belgium.

That moved the Carton House golfer into 12th in the G4D World Rankings ahead of the G4D Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi this week.

Not satisfied with how 2022 went, Stone is determined to make the most of his opportunities in Abu Dhabi this week, and in Singapore in three weeks’ time, to finally break into the top-10 in the world and become a regular fixture in the big G4D events.

“I’d like to try and crack the top-10 this year. I thought I’d do that last year,” said the Kildalkey native. “But I just did not play well last year. I’m hoping that this year is a bit better.

“A lot more stuff has gone my way so far this year because I mean, I’m playing this week at the Hero and then I’m playing in Singapore in three weeks’ time as well at the second G4D event of the year. So it’s looking a lot better already.

“I have a good opportunity to crack the top 10 pretty soon if I play well in these next two events. Fingers crossed that I do that and if I do crack the top 10 by Singapore, I’ll be set up for the whole year so I’ll be laughing. I’ll guarantee myself into the G4D events for the rest of the year so that would be massive if I play well this weekend and in Singapore.”

The 27-year-old, who has scoliosis, is hoping to reap the rewards of an unexpected invite into the G4D Hero Cup this week as he looks to dust off the cobwebs following three months off caused by rest and some inclement weather in Ireland.

“It’s been blowing a gale here a little like back home, the wind was absolutely howling. Hopefully it’s not like that on Friday and Saturday but we’ll have to wait and see,” he said from Abu Dhabi.

“Playing a practice round and I’m up at midnight Irish time to play so it will be a long day. I just came over to play a bit of golf, haven’t played golf since October so I want to brush off all the cobwebs.

“I put the clubs away in October, didn’t think I would be in this event but got the call in the first week of December that I was playing in the event. Then we had the Big Freeze back home in Ireland. So I couldn’t even do any practice.

“In Carton House the driving range there was closed for a full week because the frost and the snow so didn’t get any practice done. The course closed there for a week and a half over Christmas as well so I’m a bit behind in terms of practice.”

Stone, who also plays golf in Co. Meath Golf Club in Trim, is joined by world number two Brendan Lawlor and the pair have been acclimatising to some warm weather golf in Saadiyat Beach Golf Club – where Gary Hurley is the club ambassador – before teeing it up in Abu Dhabi GC on Friday morning.

“It’s unreal to be a part of the event this week. I need to get a good look at the course, sort through a few things and then away we go hopefully,” he said.

“I still hope that I can shoot a score obviously and I’ll just be somewhat rusty. I’m sure I can still play good golf. I’ll just have to see where the game is at the end of each day of play. I’m getting slightly better. So I’m hoping now that that trend will continue to Saturday.”

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