5th February 2019 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Jika in the mix at Q-School State Mines

Jika in the mix at Q-School State Mines

BRAKPAN, 5 February 2019 – Local amateur Jacques Blaauw will be targeting an IGT Challenge Tour breakthrough when he leads the field into the final round of the Race to Q-School #4 at State Mines Country Club on Wednesday.

Blaauw began the second in a three-way tie for the lead on six-under.

The 19-year-old fired six birdies for a five-under 67 to take pole position on 11-under 133. He leads by two shots from Pretoria amateur Christopher van der Merwe but there six more players within three shots of his lead.

Van der Merwe made three birdies on the bounce from the first and notched three more on the front nine for a 67.

Meanwhile joint overnight leaders amateur Casey Jarvis and Ruhan van Djik stayed within striking distance with rounds of 70. The GolfRSA National Squad member and Kempton Park rookie tied for third with 2018 Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour Championship winner Luke Brown on eight-under.

A further stroke back, Dylan Kok and another State Mines amateur, Vaughen van Deventer, share sixth with Khaya Jika. Big Easy Road to Sunshine Tour winner Kok carded a 67 and Van Deventer returned a 68, but Jika was the man of the hour.

The 35-year-old Eastern Cape native blitzed the course in 64 strokes to take the low round honours and catapult from joint 35th to a tie for sixth.

Born in Ladyfrere near Queenstown, Jika honed his golf in George and had very little trouble in the breeze conditions. Three-under at the turn, he broke into the top 10 with three birdies in a row from the third hole.

“I hit a great tee shot and a hybrid into green from 245 flag,” said the Midrand resident.

“It pitched behind the flag, and I left the four foot downhill putt short. After I tapped in for birdie, I hit two hallelujah shots into the fourth. It was easily the two best shots of my round and boxed a four-footer for birdie.

“I was between clubs at the short hole, and eventually hit a soft 7-iron to give. Unfortunately I pushed my tee-shot right at the next hole and had to two-putt for par. I hit a good tee-shot at the par five, but I pulled my 3-wood left. I had to chip to the green and two-putted par.

“At the eighth I was between clubs again. I didn’t have a lob-wedge in the bag, so I was forced to hit soft pitching-wedge and it work beautifully, leaving me with a tap-in birdie. At the last hole, I hit a really poor tee shot and I finished in the trees right. I had 130 flag, so I went with another soft pitching-wedge and I hit it to give.”

Jika, who competed on the Big Easy Tour last year, is campaigning in the Race to Q-School series to prepare for the Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School in March.

“With age comes experience and I’ve learned that discipline is a key part of the game. You need to stick to your process and your game plan and execute it as best you can. Course management is the key to scoring. When you stay disciplined that, the course will give you birdies. I didn’t do anything different today to the first day; I just did it better.”

Meanwhile Blaauw will be gunning for a first victory on the country’s premier golf development circuit to boost his confidence ahead of the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship next week.

“I would love to win, but even a top three finish will go far in giving me a boost to take to Leopard Creek,” he said. “I haven’t been in this position before, but I think you can get side-tracked by your playing partners under the pressure. I am just going to try to focus on playing my own game.”

Second Round Scores

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA

133 – Francois Blaauw AMA 66 67

135 – Christopher van der Merwe AMA 68 67

136 – Luke Brown 69 67, Casey Jarvis AMA 66 70, Ruhan van Dijk 66 70

137 – Khaya Jika 73 64, Vaughn van Deventer AMA 69 68, Dylan Kok 70 67

138 – Peetie van der Merwe 70 68

139 – Richard Joubert 70 69, Maritz Wessels 71 68, Werner Deyzel AMA 69 70, Tristen Strydom 73 66, Andrew Carlsson 69 70

140 – Neal Woernhard (SUI) 70 70, Jaco van der Merwe AMA 68 72

141 – Gary Daoust (BEL) 70 71, Stephan Erasmus 71 70, Duan Nagel AMA 68 73, Quintin Crause 71 70, Henning du Plooy AMA 71 70

142 – Hanlo Jacobs 73 69, Darin de Smidt AMA 70 72, Thanda Mavundla 68 74, Lincon Cele 71 71, Hanish Nagrani (ZIM) 73 69

143 – Jason Diab 74 69, James Mack (ENG) 73 70, Bryce Myburgh 72 71

144 – Kyle Murphy AMA 71 73, Divan Marais 71 73, Neal Herman 73 71, Gareth Sargent AMA 73 71

145 – Christof Appel 72 73, Andrew Plint AMA 73 72, Michael-James Steyn 71 74, Elmo Barnard AMA 75 70, Ivan Mare AMA 76 69, Jack Duthie 71 74, Jancarel Rossouw AMA 75 70, Riaan Swart AMA 72 73

146 – Michael Saunders (ENG) 72 74, Albert Visser 74 72, Keanu Pestana AMA 72 74, Clinton Grobler 76 70, Bradley Diggeden AMA 75 71, Mitchell Lightfoot 74 72, Nico du Buisson 72 74, WM Coetzee AMA 76 70, Tristan Topka AMA 75 71, Brandon Lydon AMA 75 71

Missed the cut:-

147 – Zabastian de Jager 74 73, Nqobani Ndabambi (ZIM) 72 75, Ricardo Towell 73 74, David Rebelo 74 73, Paul Rodrigues AMA 71 76

148 – Deon Bredenkamp 73 75, Matt Westner 75 73, Paulo Serrao (POR) 75 73

149 – Cody White (CAN) 75 74, Jonathan Waschefort 76 73

150 – Francois Nel AMA 76 74, Louis Botha 80 70, Kobus Engelbrecht AMA 73 77, Angus Ellis-Cole AMA 73 77

151 – Dean du Plessis AMA 76 75, Thabiso Ngcobo 78 73, Igor Milicic (SRB) 74 77, Jay Fourie 78 73, Michael van Rooyen 76 75, Christian Basson AMA 74 77, Blain Sansom 76 75

152 – Luke Kelly 77 75, Adam Baker 79 73

153 – Mike Dewsbury (ENG) 78 75, Carlo Heunis AMA 74 79

154 – Leon Vorster 82 72, Jonathan George AMA 82 72

155 – Songezo Sonamzi 81 74, Rigardt Albertse AMA 77 78

156 – Tristan Brice AMA 76 80, Marcus Smal AMA 80 76

157 – Angelo Marques AMA 82 75, Divan de Villiers 83 74

158 – Warric Dyers 82 76

159 – Alwyn Smith 76 83

161 – Jared Hall AMA 81 80

163 – Christopher Constantinou AMA 76 87

164 – Hanro Booysen 88 76

165 – Matthew Hands AMA 85 80

168 – Christopher Scheppel AMA 82 86, Jeandre Badenhorst 86 82

173 – Dylan van Heerden AMA 88 85

 

PHOTO – Confident stride of Eastern Cape golfer Khaya Jika, who fired an eight-under 64 to catapult to a tie for sixth on day two of the IGT Challenge Tour Race to Q-School #4 at State Mines Country Club; credit CJ du Plooy.

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