IGT Pro Tour with Sadga - South African Disabled Golf Association and Reinard Schuhknecht at Zwartkop Country Club.
Schuhknecht wants to shake SA Open bridesmaid tag
TSHWANE, 27 April 2016 – The only thing to do when victory keeps eluding you is to ‘try and try again’, says double World One-Arm champion Reinard Schuhknecht.
The towering Vanderbijlpark golfer is targeting the Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open as one of the most important titles on his schedule this season and will spearhead the home challenge in the 18th edition of SA disabled golf’s flagship event alongside four-time winner Daniel Slabbert at Zwartkop Country Club from 2-4 May.
“Since my first appearance in 2007, I’ve won the Junior Division, the Arm Amputee Division and finished in the top three a couple of times, but the title keeps eluding me,” says Schuhknecht.
“Not only do I have with Daniel and James Hourigan from South Africa and defending champion Josh Williams to contend with, but there are some big guns coming over from the States and Europe this year. Hopefully having so many rivals will be just the kick I need to get the monkey off my back.”
Schuhknecht spent the last two weeks playing the IGT Tour to get into competitive mode and surviving the cut in the ERPM Challenge last week was a great confidence booster.
“It felt great to keep pace with the pros and some of the top ranked amateurs in the country,” says Schuhknecht. “I haven’t competed for a while. I wanted to get the rust off and see where I stand and I came away feeling good about my game.
“My dream ultimately is to play the pro circuit. Guys like Chad Pfeiffer from the States and Manual de los Santos from Europe already made that transition and it’s going to be awesome to go up against them next week at Zwartkop. I didn’t play my best golf in the ERPM Challenge, but I managed to score well enough. Making my first cut against the pros really boosted my confidence.”
Fate dealt Schuhknecht a heavy blow at 14 years old, but he survived the shock of an 11,000 electric current. The amputation of his right arm didn’t deter him from realising his goals and dreams and he has become a shining example of true grit and an iron will to succeed despite adversity.
Schuhknecht certainly hasn’t had a problem converting form into success abroad. In fact, he has emerged as one of the brightest stars in South African disabled golf.
In 2014, he won the World One-Arm Match Play Championship title and not only defended his title last year, but scored an unprecedented ‘double’ when he claimed the Stroke Play title as well.
He travelled to Spain where he collected the International Handisport / BGC Mallorca Open trophy and then the 24-year-old took on 40 of the best one-armed golfers from the United States and abroad in the North American One-Armed Golfers Association Championships, where he finished second in the Match Play and Stroke Play Championships.
Schuhknecht also performed very well at the Swedish Invitational in Bokskogen and in several Para-Longdrive Competitions held across the United States.
Off the golf course, he has excelled in wake boarding, completed a 900 km quad bike tour, earned certification in Padi, Nitroc and Advance Scuba Diving and qualified as a PGA Teaching Professional from the Golf Management Campus (previously called the Dale Hayes School of Excellence) in 2013.
Fear is certainly not a factor in this young gun’s life, so what does he believe stands in the way of success in the Nedbank SA Golf Disabled Open?
“I’ve gained a lot of experience competing abroad in the last two years, and with that experience came the confidence that I can win, but it’s different when you compete overseas,” he says.
“I know it sounds like it should be the other way around, but I feel less pressure on me when I compete abroad. No-one really expects you to excel and it’s pretty cool to surprise them. Here at home, everyone expects you to win.
“You also put a lot of pressure on yourself. I haven’t started well in the last couple of years and I was on the back-foot, playing catch-up. The international guys are going to take this year’s event to another level, so it’s good to know that the 15 students from the Golf Management Campus who are volunteering next week will have my back. I just need to bring the kind of form I take abroad and translate it to a strong start and then keep it going to the finish line.”
PHOTO – Reinard Schuhknect will be challenging for a Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open breakthrough at Zwartkop Country Club from 2-4 May; credit Carl Fourie/SADGA. ... See MoreSee Less
IGT Pro Tour added 5 new photos.
IGT Challenge Tour Upcoming events for May
3-5 May CMR Challenge - CMR GC 54Holes
9-11 May Houghton Challenge - Houghton GC 54Holes
16-18 May Ruimsig Challenge - Ruimsig CC 54Holes
23-25 May Wingate Open - Wingate Park CC 54Holes
30-2 June Zwartkop Match Play - Zwartkop CC ... See MoreSee Less
The IGT Challenge Tour is attracting more and more players from Africa. IGT Challenge Tour is proud to host 5 players from the Namibia Junior Golf Foundation. They will play in the Houghton Challenge and Ruimsig Challenge in May. The 5 players are Niel Groenewald, Nieuwoudt Hendrikse, Kasoma Paulino, Wayne Profit & Neil Swart. They will be accompany by Andre Burger. They will also be assisted by GFG Academy while in South Africa and a big thank you to Graeme Francis in hosting the players and assisting them. We look forward to meet you and wish you a successful tour to South Africa. Our vision; “Where Good Players become Tour Players”
The IGT Challenge Tour is attracting more and more players from Africa.
IGT Challenge Tour is proud to host 5 players from the Namibia Junior Golf Foundation. They will play in the Houghton Challenge and Ruimsig Challenge in May. The 5 players are Niel Groenewald, Nieuwoudt Hendrikse, Kasoma Paulino, Wayne Profit & Neil Swart. They will be accompany by Andre Burger.
They will also be assisted by GFG Academy while in South Africa and a big thank you to Graeme Francis in hosting the players and assisting them.
We look forward to meet you and wish you a successful tour to South Africa.
Our vision; “Where Good Players become Tour Players” ... See MoreSee Less
IGT CMR Challenge
CMR golf club
IGT CMR Challenge - CMR Golf Club 3-5 May - 54Holes
IGT ERPM Challenge runner up Carrie Park on 17 under par with rounds of 64 69 & 66.
Very proud of you Carrie ... See MoreSee Less
IGT ERPM Challenge Tour winner 18-20 April.
Anton Haig on 21 under par with rounds of 64 69 & 62.
Receiving his trophy from Rory Dyer from 3CI ... See MoreSee Less
IGT ERPM Challenge 18 - 20 April 2016 ERPM Golf Club Winner Anton Haig 21 under with rounds of 64 69 62
IGT Pro Tour with Anton Jason Haig at ERPM GOLF CLUB.
Haig charges back to winning ways on IGT Tour
(PHOTO – Anton Haig and Rory Dyer; credit CJ du Plooy)
BOKSBURG, 20 April 2016 – When Anton Haig won the 2007 Johnnie Walker Classic, he owned the global golf spotlight. But in the last two months since the former European Tour champion pegged it up on the IGT Tour, it’s been more like living under a microscope.
Those who competed against him in his first six starts on the country’s premier development Tour said that Haig is hitting it better than ever and believed a victory was imminent. But Haig knew it would take a remarkable performance to convince the rest of the world.
So the lanky 29-year-old Nelspruit pro did it the best way he knew how and sealed a wire-to-wire victory in the ERPM Challenge with a flawless final round 10-under-par 62.
The group gathered around the 18th green at ERPM Golf Club was tiny in comparison to the roaring crowd that celebrated his victory in Thailand. Winning on the IGT Tour was a far cry from his glory days on the European Tour stage, but for Haig, this win was the most significant ever.
“This gives me so much confidence that I am on the right track,” Haig admitted. “If this had happened when I had the lead in my first start on the IGT Tour, who knows how it might have ended.”
Haig laughed when he said that, but he meant every word.
“I'm not trying to send any message out there," he said. “I'm playing well again and I believe I can be a factor when I tee it up in the Investec Royal Swazi Open in May. If I play like I did this week, if I keep my head straight, I think I'll be a factor. I want to make the most of every sponsor’s invitation to play my way back on to the Sunshine Tour and I know I’ve gone about it the right way.”
Haig said that is what the last two months have been about.
“I came back to the IGT Tour, because I knew I needed to start small,” he said. “I needed this platform to build up to being in contention again. I needed to win here to know when I’d be ready for the Sunshine Tour again.
“And it wasn’t a gimme. I had to work for it. I had to put in the hours, I had to do the hard work and I had to grind out this victory. Just getting into contention was a huge thing for me. Pulling it through is huge for me. I believe that God gives you exactly what you can handle. He knew I could handle it.”
The podium finish ended a three year trophy drought since Haig last lifted a trophy on the Big Easy Tour. His winning score of 21 under was just one shot shy of the IGT Tour all-time 54-hole record set by three-time Sunshine Tour winner Danie van Tonder at Houghton earlier this year.
His scorecard boasted eight birdies and an eagle at the par five 13th and he finished four shots clear of Carrie Park, who fired an equally impressive 66.
“It could have been better, but I not greedy,” Haig joked. “I hit my drive 385 metres and I had 120 metres to the pin. The approach finished three feet shy of the hole; could have been an albatross.
“I’m hitting the ball really well and very long. I’m not missing many greens, but my short game is just as solid. The most important thing was that I was absolutely calm. I had a lot of butterflies in that first start in February, but I didn’t feel any nerves today. I’m ready for the next level.”
It’s clear that Haig has turned another huge personal corner this week.
The first was admitting that he had a drug problem. The second corner was entering the programme at the South Coast Recovery Centre. The third was receiving his one-year sobriety chip in February.
So how will the former party boy celebrate this victory?
“How much Kentucky and strawberry milkshakes you can buy for R9,000?,” he laughed.
“This win might be small fry for most people, but it means the world to me. It tells my parents, Rory (Dyer), Meyer (du Toit) and my sponsors Investec and Dimension Data that they are backing the right horse. It says thank you to the IGT Tour family – Cois, Lokkie and CJ (du Plooy) – and the staff, the pros and amateurs who all rooted for me. My game is solid and my head in the right place, so who knows what happens next?"
Who knows, indeed? After all, Anton Haig is back.
FINAL RESULT - TOP 10
195 - Anton Haig 64 69 62
199 - Carrie Park 64 69 66
205 - Simon Kruger 69 71 65
207 - Dean O'Riley 67 70 70
208 - Michael Schutz AMA 67 71 70
210 - Rosswell Sinclair AMA 71 72 67, John McClean (NIR) 66 70 74, NJ Arnoldi 68 68 74
212 - Matthew Spacey 73 67 72
213 - Ryan Clarke 71 71 71, David Ashley (ENG) 75 65 73
ABOUT THE IGT TOUR
The IGT Challenge Pro Tour launched in 2010 and has fast grown into South Africa’s premier developmental golf tour, offering a tailor-made gateway for amateurs aspiring to join the pro ranks.
The IGT Challenge Pro Tour Gauteng and IGT Tour Cape provides significant financial opportunities and incentives, and statistical feedback with a full playing schedule of more than 50 events (36-hole, 54-hole and 72-hole tournaments) that enables its members and non-members to perform at a high level in a strong competitive environment. ... See MoreSee Less