9th October 2018 | IGT Golf

Griffiths lets it rip at Reading

Griffiths lets it rip at Reading

(PHOTO – Hayden Griffiths; credit CJ du Plooy)

ALBERTON, 8 October 2018 – Moving day in Tuesday’s second round of the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour #11 turned into a traffic jam at the top until rookie Hayden Griffiths fired 29 strokes on the back nine at Reading Country Club to take the outright lead on 11-under.

The 24-year-old Industrial Psychology student turned one-under, but started the home stretch like a steam train, firing four birdies and an eagle for a seven-under-par 64.

Griffiths will be targeting a maiden pro win as he takes a three shot lead over Matt Bright into the final round. The two-time Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour champion had a solid round with four birdies and an eagle, but spoiled a flawless run with a bogey at the last for a round of 66.

Former African Amateur champion Albert Venter and 2018 IGT Challenge Tour winners Kyle Barker and Marco de Beer lurk a further shot back in joint third, while overnight leader and Road to Sunshine Tour leader Dylan Mostert carded 73 to slip to a tie for sixth on five-under with Hendrikus Stoop and Arno Pretorius.

Griffiths missed three consecutive cuts on the IGT and Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour, but a last-minute invitation to play the Vodacom Origins of Golf at St Francis Links at the end of September brought a change of fortune.

“I wasn’t too hopeful of getting in, so I went to Durban and then I got the call and had to quickly chance my arrangements,” said the Club Johannesburg golfer, who celebrated his first Sunshine Tour start with a top 30 finish.

“I fired rounds of 72, 74 and 71 and I can’t exactly explain what happened, but everything just came together. I felt good over all my shots and I drove it really well. I felt like I could compete, playing against some seasoned pros, and I brought that mind-set with me to Reading.”

Griffiths opened with a 67 and was three off the pace at the start of the second round.

He missed a couple of birdie opportunities on the front nine, but converted at the par-5 fourth and par-3 seventh. “I had a chance at the second from eight foot, but missed the birdie putt left and I lipped out at five for eagle, but made the birdie putt,” he said.

“I missed another short uphill putt from six foot at six, but chipped in from short of the green at seven for birdie. I was disappointed with a mediocre five at the eighth and I dropped a shot after a bad chip from the front of the green at nine. I still had nine holes to go, so giving one shot back didn’t upset me too much.”

The Johannesburg rookie followed a birdie at 11 with an eagle at the par-5 12th and reeled in further gains at 15, 17 and 18 to push himself to the top of the pile.

“I made a good par-save at 10 to make a solid start,” said Griffiths. “I hit it to give at 11. At the par-5, I hit driver down the middle, 9-iron to 15 foot and boxed the eagle putt. I holed a four-footer at 14, and lagged a 25-footer to tap-in for par at 16.

“I went with a 3-wood at 17 and hit lob-wedge for my second to two and a half foot and at the 18th, I hit driver, lob-wedge to six foot and boxed again for birdie.

“I started working with Gavan Levenson about a year ago and my game has really come on. I have been striking the ball well for a while now, but just not scoring well. And when the confidence sags, it takes your whole game with it.

“I came into the event with some confidence. I drove it well and the putter was definitely hot, but it was the positive mind-set and confidence that set me up for a low scoring round. I’m excited to play in the leading group. It’s a long while since I’ve been in that position and it will be good for me to deal with the pressure, especially playing with guys who already know how to win.”

Second Round Scores

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA

131 – Hayden Griffiths 67 64

134 – Matt Bright 68 66

135 – Kyle Barker 66 69, Marco de Beer 68 67, Albert Venter 66 69

137 – Arno Pretorius 70 67, Dylan Mostert 64 73, Hendrikus Stoop 70 67

138 – Matthew Spacey 67 71

139 – Allister de Kock 70 69, Ruan Korb 69 70

140 – Michael Kok 70 70

141 – Ruhan van Dijk 74 67, Dongkwan Kim (KOR) 70 71, Stuart Smith (BOT) 72 69, Wayne Stroebel 73 68, Tokkie van den Berg 71 70, Conway Kunneke 71 70, Jack Duthie 69 72, Theunis Bezuidenhout 69 72

142 – Eric Nel 69 73, Yubin Jung 72 70, Rupert Kaminski 69 73, Coert Groenewald 74 68, Adriel Poonan 72 70, Bryce Myburgh 68 74, Luke Brown 73 69, Marthin Scheepers 75 67, Juran Dreyer 72 70, Jason Roets 69 73

Missed the cut:-

143 – Keanu Pestana AMA 75 68, Ryan Tipping 74 69, Jonathan Waschefort 73 70, Quintin Crause 68 75, Andrew Carlsson 74 69, Steven Lecuyer (CAN) 70 73

144 – Jason Smith 74 70, Paul Boshoff 71 73, Thabang Simon 74 70, John McClean (NIR) 69 75, Matthew Rushton 77 67

145 – Stals Swart AMA 72 73, Damon Stephenson (AUS) 71 74, Duane Keun 74 71, Romano Saincic 69 76, Zabastian de Jager 73 72, Jacques de Villiers 73 72, Gary Daoust (BEL) 74 71, Garth Wolter 69 76, Jason Viljoen 74 71

146 – Bradley Diggeden AMA 72 74, Dwayne Basson 75 71, Derick Petersen 74 72, Albert Visser 69 77, Hanish Nagrani (ZIM) 73 73, Dylan Kok 78 68

147 – Leon Vorster 73 74, Richard Joubert 79 68, Phumlani Maluka 71 76, Jonathan George AMA (a) 72 75, Blain Sansom 73 74

148 – Stefan Wears-Taylor 74 74, Maritz Wessels 78 70, Pieter Moolman 72 76, Sipho Bujela 74 74, Jabulane Mabilane 75 73, Tristan Topka AMA 71 77, Landon Ferguson 74 74

149 – Gerard du Plooy 77 72, Teddy Mathebula 74 75, Nico du Buisson 77 72, Tyran Van Lieshout 77 72

150 – Jaco van der Merwe AMA 76 74, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 78 72, Jeff Inglis (ENG) 70 80, Greg Bentley (ZIM) 75 75, Tumelo Molloyi 76 74, Andrew Plint AMA 79 71, Peetie van der Merwe 70 80, Thabiso Ngcobo 78 72, Keelan Africa 77 73, Teboho Sefatsa 77 73, Jason Rossiter 80 70

151 – Andi Dill 76 75, Divan Marais 73 78, Michael-James Steyn 78 73

152 – Patrick Thompson 73 79, Ethan Joseph 75 77, Jason Diab 76 76, Shaun van Tonder 75 77, Alpheus Kelapile 76 76

153 – Louis Botha 71 82, Matthew Hands AMA 77 76, Tyler Johnston AMA 82 71

154 – Cameron Moralee 81 73, Leon Visser 79 75, Dean du Plessis AMA 80 74, Paulo Serrao (POR) 79 75

156 – Cameron Gunning 78 78, Warric Dyers 74 82, Michael Pfeifer 80 76

157 – Karl Lehmacher 81 76, Kyle Murphy AMA 80 77, Michael van Rooyen 79 78

158 – Shalan Govender 76 82

160 – Tjaart van Wyk AMA 78 82, Tanaka Mhere AMA (ZIM) 81 79

163 – Ricki Dembo 85 78

167 – Jay Fourie 90 77

169 – Alwyn Smit 85 84

174 – Deane Cooper AMA 84 90

 

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

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