23rd July 2019 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Barker blasts to Big Easy IGT lead

Barker blasts to Big Easy IGT lead

(Photo: Kyle Barker; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 23 July 2019 – Randpark golfer Kyle Barker gave himself a great chance to notch a maiden Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour title when he snatched pole position in Tuesday’s second round at Killarney Country Club.

The Sunshine Tour rookie fired three birdies and an eagle on his way to a four-under-par 66 and he leads the field on seven-under 133.

Aubrey Beckley eagled the par five 15th to overturn a double bogey at the 11th for a 68 to move into second place, while Matthew Spacey (68) and joint overnight leader Desne van den Bergh (74) sit a further shot back.

Stuart Smith from Botswana, Jason Rossiter and Jason Smith finished at three-under with respective rounds of 67, 70 and 71, while Hendrikus Stoop (68) and Nicholaus Frade (67) rounded out the top 10 on two-under.

Clinton Grobler, who shared the first round lead on six-under, was forced to retire after he aggravated a pre-existing lower back injury.

Barker began the second round two off the pace. He started with a trio of pars and cut the deficit to naught with a brace of birdies at four and five.

“I bogeyed nine and 10, which was a bit of a set-back, but not a train-smash,” said the 21-year-old.

“I three-putted nine and I couldn’t up-and-down to save par at 10. They were both soft bogeys, so it didn’t really upset me. I just put my head down and got on with it. At the 12th, I hit a great drive and a smooth gap-wedge to four feet and made the birdie putt to get one shot back. At the par five (15), I hit another great drive down the middle, pitching wedge to 25 feet and drained the eagle putt.”

Having won the second of his three IGT Challenge Tour titles at the same venue last year, Barker hopes to draw on some positive memories as he goes in search of a first Big Easy IGT victory in the seventh event of the season-long golf development series.

“Killarney is always tough, but it’s especially tough in the winter, because the fairways and greens are very firm,” he said. “It’s all about positioning at this course, so you do what you can to prevent the ball from running out, but you’re not always going to win.

“My secret weapon is my Sunshine Tour caddie Thala Monise; he has done a great job of keeping me out of trouble and hopefully he’ll do the same on the last day and share in the spoils.”

Barker competed on the IGT Challenge Tour for two years, interrupted by a short stint to the Middle East in 2017 where he won his first pro title in the Golf Citizen Abu Dhabi Open in the United Arab Emirates.

In 2018/2019 he enjoyed a slew of top five finishes, finishing third on the final Money List and winning the Sunshine Tour Race to Q-School prep-series.

“I felt really prepared for Q-School,” said Barker, who finished in the top seven at Q-School. “I felt that I paid my dues on the IGT Challenge Tour and earned my way on to the main circuit. When I got my card, I felt confident that I was taking a game to the main tour that would hold up.”

And hold up, it has. Barker has earned just over R100 000 in his first six starts, including a R55 000 pay-day with a joint fourth place finish in the Sun City Challenge in June, and he currently ranks 28th on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.

“I have to admit it felt pretty good to get my first top five at one of the toughest tracks in South Africa,” he said. “I’m really proud of that result at the Gary Player. I’ve really enjoyed my first couple of months on the Sunshine Tour. You don’t stop learning, though. My mental game and my course management is at a much higher level now and it will keep on improving as long as I am prepared to learn.

“This week is all about getting match fit for Swaziland, but I would love to add a Big Easy IGT trophy to my collection. It would just underline for me how I continue to grow and progress in my career.”

Second Round Scores

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified and amateurs indicated at AMA

133 – Kyle Barker 66 67

135 – Aubrey Beckley 67 68

136 – Matthew Spacey 68 68, Desne van den Bergh 64 72

137 – Stuart Smith (BOT) 70 67, Jason Smith 66 71, Jason Rossiter 67 70

138 – Hendrikus Stoop 70 68, Nicholaus Frade 71 67

139 – Thabiso Ngcobo 69 70

140 – Jaco van der Merwe 73 67, Hennie O’Kennedy 70 70, Ruan Botha 68 72, Jason Froneman 70 70, Jade Buitendag 70 70

141 – Makhetha Mazibuko 72 69, Malcolm Mitchell 69 72, Arno Pretorius 74 67, Keelan van Wyk 69 72, Jason Roets 74 67, Ruan de Smidt 70 71, Hayden Griffiths 71 70

142 – Slade Pickering AMA 71 71, Ruan Huysamen (NAM) 69 73, Gideon van der Vyver 72 70, Jeff Inglis (ENG) 71 71, Basil Wright 71 71, Darin de Smidt 71 71, Sipho Bujela 72 70

143 – Gerard du Plooy 71 72, Clayton Mansfield 71 72, Allister de Kock 69 74, Karl Ochse 68 75, Brandon Gildenhuys AMA 71 72, Luke Brown 68 75

Missed the cut:-

144 – Wayne Stroebel 72 72, Ryan Tipping 71 73, Jacquin Hess 75 69, Quintin Crause 71 73, Eric Nel 74 70, Quintin Wilsnach 74 70, Marthin Scheepers 71 73, Ruhan van Dijk 72 72, Bradley Diggeden 72 72, Dylan Naidoo 68 76

145 – Coert Groenewald 70 75, Matt Bright 74 71, Ruan Korb 71 74, Erhard Lambrechts 72 73, Evance Vukeya 76 69, Deon Germishuys 72 73

146 – Luan Boshoff 75 71, Jack Duthie 72 74, Franklin Manchest 71 75, Michael Pfeifer 75 71, Stefan Wears-Taylor 73 73, Gary Daoust (BEL) 73 73

147 – Tumelo Molloyi 73 74, Teboho Sefatsa 73 74, Carlo Heunis 74 73, Hanlo Jacobs 73 74, Paul Boshoff 71 76, Alpheus Kelapile 74 73, Peetie van der Merwe 71 76, Theunis Bezuidenhout 73 74, Ruan Groenewald 76 71, DK Kim (KOR) 71 76, James Pennington (SWZ) 75 72, Marco de Beer 69 78, Gerhard Pepler 73 74

148 – Michael Kok 70 78, Christian Basson 74 74, Keaton Slatter 75 73, Dylan Kok 73 75, Matthew Rushton 79 69, Shalan Govender 73 75, Michael-James Steyn 75 73

149 – Dylan Mostert 74 75, Maritz Wessels 75 74, John McClean (NIR) 75 74, Leon Vorster 68 81, Teddy Mathebula 72 77, Armand van Dyk AMA 75 74, Cameron Esau 73 76, Gareth Sargent 75 74, Juran Dreyer 75 74

150 – Caylum Boon AMA 74 76, Reinhardt Blaauw 75 75

151 – Neal Woernhard (SUI) 74 77, CJ Levey 76 75

152 – Zabastian de Jager 72 80, Keelan Africa 80 72, Adriel Poonan 72 80

153 – Thato Mazibuko 74 79, Mike Maile 76 77, Leon Visser 74 79

154 – Teagan Moore 76 78

156 – Thabang Simon 76 80, Wynand Potgieter 76 80

158 – Henning du Plooy 76 82, Patric Dowling AMA 78 80

161 – Neil Swart (NAM) 81 80

164 – Brenden Pieters 85 79

167 – Tristan Topka 86 81

172 – Khaya Jika 83 89

173 – Byron van der Merwe 84 89

WDN – Ricardo Towell 82 WDN

RTD – Clinton Grobler 64 RTD

 

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour.

 

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