16th April 2019 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Eagles send Spacey to the top at Centurion

Eagles send Spacey to the top at Centurion

(PHOTO – Matthew Spacey; credit CJ du Plooy)

PRETORIA, 16 April 2019 – Matt Spacey will look to close out a fourth professional victory – and his second of the season – after he surged into the second round lead in the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour #1 after an outstanding performance on moving day.

In red-hot form with his putter, Spacey covered his back nine at Centurion Country Club in a blistering eight-under 28 on Tuesday.

A tournament career-low 10-under-par 62 that featured a pair of eagles sent the Dainfern golfer straight to the top of the leaderboard and he will start the final round with a three stroke cushion on 13 under par.

His closest rivals are joint overnight leader Eric Nel (68) from Pretoria and KwaZulu-Natal rookie Clayton Mansfield (67) and former Sunshine Tour winner Ruan de Smidt from Krugersdorp, who took route 66 to 10-under.

Spacey cut his teeth on the IGT Challenge Tour after an acclaimed amateur career and graduated to the Sunshine Tour in 2017, but he lost his card after his rookie season. The 28-year-old knows winning the first event in the Road to Sunshine Tour series could prove significant down the line.

“Of course it’s on my mind,” said the 28-year-old Spacey. “There are only two ways to get onto the Sunshine Tour… you make it at Q-School or you punch your ticket with a top 10 finish on the Road to Sunshine Tour.

“I played really well leading up to Q-School, but I had a bad week. The Road to Sunshine Tour is a lifeline and I have to make the most of it. Winning is not the big goal – the goal is to finish the season in the top 10 to get back on the Sunshine Tour.

“That means top five finishes every week to be up there in the top. The rankings move a lot and starting with a win puts you’re in the running straightaway. It would help a lot, but a three stroke lead is not much with the kind of quality players chasing. I’d need another low one tomorrow.”

Spacey overturned a bogey start at 10 with a trio of birdies from 11 and picked up another birdie at 15, but he dropped another shot at 18 to turn three-under.

“I pulled a 3-wood into the water at 18, but I hit it to about 20 foot from the drop zone and missed the par putt,” said Spacey. “I was annoyed because that hole is a gettable one. I knew I’d have to go low on the back nine, so I played a bit more aggressively.

“I hit driver just left of the fairway at the first, 6-iron to about 15 foot and made the eagle putt. On two, I hit 3-wood, 7-iron to six foot and made the birdie putt and on three, I hit a 7-iron to about 30 foot left of the hole and drained the putt for birdie.”

His decision to go with 3-wood to a front flag at the par four fifth paid off with birdie number seven.

“I hit sand-wedge to eight foot and made that,” Spacey said. “I was disappointed on seven, another makeable par five, to leave it short of the green and not make the up-and-down for birdie.

“At the short hole (eight), I hit a 9-iron to 10 foot and made the putt and I eagled the ninth. I hit driver and had 120 metres to the flag. I hit a soft gap-wedge and it went in. That was nice to watch. I was just aiming it at the flag, not expecting it to drop.

“First time I posted a 10-under in the tournament, but I was not expecting this round. I scored really well on the back nine. I putted really nicely and I think I had just 10 putts. I hit my irons really, really well throughout the day and, in combination with a hot putter, things went my way.

“I’m just going to try to stay calm the way I did at Wingate tomorrow. No stress, enjoy the moment and play some good golf and we’ll see where that leaves me.”

Ruhan van Dijk also fired a 66 to finish alone in fifth on nine-under, while Makhetha Mazibuko from the Gary Player School, Malcolm Mitchell, Clinton Grobber and joint overnight leader Maritz Wessels completed the top 10 on seven-under.

Second Round Scores

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified and amateurs indicated as AMA.

131 – Matthew Spacey 69 62

134 – Clayton Mansfield 67 67, Ruan de Smidt 68 66, Eric Nel 66 68

135 – Ruhan van Dijk 69 66

137 – Malcolm Mitchell 67 70, Makhetha Mazibuko 70 67, Maritz Wessels 66 71, Clinton Grobler 71 66

138 – Jacques Kruyswijk 70 68, Quintin Wilsnach 68 70

139 – Dylan Naidoo 70 69, Thabiso Ngcobo 68 71, Yurav Premlall AMA 69 70, Jason Roets 71 68

140 – Allister de Kock 70 70, Keelan van Wyk 68 72, Christiaan Burke AMA 69 71, Coert Groenewald 69 71, Altaaf Bux 72 68, Desne van den Bergh 69 71, Jason Rossiter 67 73, Jason Smith 70 70

141 – Sipho Bujela 72 69, Marthin Scheepers 69 72, Franklin Manchest 69 72, Reinhardt Blaauw 70 71, Hendrikus Stoop 69 72

142 – Gareth Sargent 71 71, Luke Brown 74 68, Nicholaus Frade 72 70, Roberto Lupini 67 75, John McClean (NIR) 71 71, Neal Woernhard (SUI) 69 73, Christof Appel 70 72

Missed the cut:-

143 – Jason Froneman 72 71, Thanda Mavundla 69 74, Neal Herman 71 72, Gary Daoust (BEL) 72 71, Ruan Botha 70 73, Maverick Faber (FRA) 70 73, Kenneth Dube 71 72, Gerhard Pepler 73 70

144 – DK Kim (KOR) 74 70, Liam Labuschagne 72 72, Mitchell Lightfoot 73 71, Jack Duthie 75 69, Teboho Sefatsa 68 76, Matt Bright 71 73, Theunis Bezuidenhout 71 73, Andrew Carlsson 72 72, Stuart Smith (BOT) 71 73, Jacquin Hess 76 68, Gideon van der Vyver 73 71, Jason Viljoen 71 73, Michael Pfeifer 69 75

145 – Michael Kok 74 71, Tristan Topka 70 75, Paul Rodrigues 73 72, Hayden Griffiths 73 72, Jaco van der Merwe 73 72, Gerrit Foster 72 73, Ryan Tipping 71 74

146 – Leon Vorster 73 73, Thabang Simon 74 72, Jeff Inglis (ENG) 73 73, Leon Visser 76 70, Omar Sandys 73 73, Peetie van der Merwe 71 75, Evance Vukeya 71 75, Alpheus Kelapile 71 75

147 – Zabastian de Jager 69 78, Bryce Myburgh 70 77, Christian Basson 71 76, Paul Boshoff 75 72, Jonathan Waschefort 73 74

148 – Nico du Buisson 73 75, Dwayne Basson 76 72, Arno Pretorius 78 70, Pequestro Dyssel 74 74

149 – Richard Joubert 75 74, Andi Dill 76 73, Ryan Joyce AMA 75 74, Armand van Dyk AMA 74 75, Jason Diab 75 74, Albert Visser 79 70, Cody Holwill AMA 74 75

150 – Teddy Mathebula 73 77, Phumlani Maluka 72 78, Carlo Heunis 75 75, Tyron Taylor AMA 71 79

151 – Deon Bredenkamp 76 75, Luan Boshoff 77 74, Byron van der Merwe 70 81, Ruan Groenewald 75 76, Tumelo Molloyi 76 75, Keaton Slatter 75 76, Marco de Beer 73 78, Caylum Boon 71 80, Nicholas Souranis AMA 74 77

152 – Adam Baker 75 77, Quintin Crause 81 71, Wayne Stroebel 77 75, Nhlalenhle Dlamini 78 74, Duan Nagel 77 75, Gerard du Plooy 77 75, Romano Saincic 76 76

153 – Henning du Plooy 77 76, Nqobani Ndabambi (ZIM) 81 72, Marnus Barnard AMA 82 71, Michael-James Steyn 70 83, Divan Marais 73 80

154 – Cameron Esau 76 78, Paulo Serrao (POR) 79 75, Stephan Erasmus 75 79

155 – Andrew Burmester 75 80, Hanlo Jacobs 79 76, Xander Prinsloo AMA 76 79, Albert Venter 78 77, Ricardo Towell 79 76

156 – Lwazi Gqira 82 74

157 – Dylan O’Leary 77 80

158 – Cody White (CAN) 80 78

159 – Alex Pienaar AMA 76 83

160 – Fritz Orren 80 80

163 – Louis Botha 83 80

167 – Richard Spagnolo AMA 90 77

WDN – Karl Lehmacher 84 WDN, CJ Levey 80 WDN, Jabulane Mabilane 77 WDN

RTD – Thato Mazibuko 70 RTD, Matthew Hands 72 RTD

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