30th January 2019 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Korb conquers at IGT Wingate Race to Q-School

Korb conquers at IGT Wingate Race to Q-School

PRETORIA, 30 January 2019 – Ruan Korb held his nerve brilliantly down the stretch to win the IGT Challenge Tour Race to Q-School #3 with a birdie finish on Wednesday.

The Silver Lakes golfer entered the final day at Wingate Park Country Club one shot off the lead, but hit the front on the fourth hole and never looked back, signing for a five-under 67 and finishing the week on 14-under 202.

That gave him a three shot victory over Keelan van Wyk, who lost the overnight lead after a birdie-bogey start.

The Ruimsig amateur closed with a 71 to finish in sole second, two shots clear of Bryanston rookie Andrew Carlsson and three clear of Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour Championship winner Luke Brown, who split the R2 000 on offer for the low round of the day with Korb.

Two birdies in the first four holes took Korb to the top of the leaderboard – a position which he defended staunchly from all challengers throughout a demanding final round.

He was matched on the front nine by playing partner Van Wyk, but the 20-year-old failed to capitalise on birdie chances at the three par fives on the back nine. Korb, however, had a trio of birdies that help him register his third win of his professional career.

The lefty had a chance to get the jump on Van Wyk at the second, but left the eagle putt in the throat.

“The wind was helping from the back and I hit 6-iron in from 208 metres,” said Korb. “It was nice to get off the mark early in the round and it put some pressure on Keelan. I have to applaud him, because he played absolutely brilliantly. Solid from tee to green and he barely missed a fairway.

“I boxed a 30-footer from behind the hole at four for birdie, but I made my only drop at the next hole. I flew the bunker and caught the downslope and overshot the green. I had a pretty bad lie, but I hit an okay chip. Then the par-putt lipped out.”

Korb had a bounce back birdie from 30 foot at the eighth, but Van Wyk’s birdie at six saw the pair deadlocked around the turn on 11-under.

“I hit a good drive down 11 and a controlled lob-wedge into the green,” Korb said. “The ball pitched beyond the flag and spun back, leaving me with a four-footer for birdie. The 15th was playing quite long. I hit driver, 3-wood and just reached the green and two-putted from 50 foot for birdie.”

Korb split the fairway at the final hole, but his approach flew the green.

“I splashed out from the bunker to 10 foot and boxed the birdie putt,” he said. “It was really great to play in the last group again, although I must admit, knowing I have my card for the Sunshine Tour took a lot of pressure off.”

Korb earned his playing privileges on the 2019/2020 Sunshine Tour via his top 10 finish on the Road to Sunshine Tour Order of Merit during last year’s Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour.

“The goal right now is to stay competitive and this win gives me the perfect momentum to keep that goal alive,” he said. “The stronger the game, the easier the transition will be. It was also great to have Melinda, my girlfriend, at Wingate this week. I usually go it alone, but with the pressure off, it’s nice to share a moment like this with her.”

Final Result

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA

202 – Ruan Korb 65 70 67

205 – Keelan van Wyk AMA 66 68 71

207 – Andrew Carlsson 67 70 70

208 – Luke Brown 70 71 67

210 – Emilio Pera AMA 72 70 68, Malcolm Mitchell AMA 68 71 71, Ivan Mare AMA 67 72 71

211 – Ruan Groenewald 69 68 74

212 – Richard Joubert 68 73 71

213 – Dawid Opperman AMA 73 70 70

214 – Clayton Mansfield AMA 73 71 70, Darin de Smidt AMA 68 75 71, Kyle Barker 71 69 74, Peetie van der Merwe 70 70 74

215 – Maritz Wessels 75 70 70, Stephan Erasmus 74 69 72

217 – Leon Visser 72 73 72, Luke Mayo AMA 73 73 71, Albert Venter 74 70 73, Ricardo Towell 73 74 70

218 – Nicholas Souranis AMA 73 72 73, Jason Diab 69 75 74, Hayden Griffiths 73 74 71, Paul Rodrigues AMA 69 73 76, Leon Vorster 71 70 77

219 – Christopher van der Merwe AMA 75 69 75, Elmo Barnard AMA 77 70 72, Carlo Heunis AMA 73 75 71, Albert Visser 75 67 77, Neal Woernhard (SUI) 75 74 70

220 – WM Coetzee AMA 69 75 76, Michael Saunders (ENG) 73 75 72, Zabastian de Jager 77 72 71

221 – David Rebelo 75 70 76, Marco de Beer 73 71 77, Gerhard Pepler AMA 69 78 74, Reinhardt Blaauw AMA 73 76 72

222 – Hendrikus Stoop 74 72 76, Jonathan Waschefort 70 80 72

223 – James Mack (ENG) 75 73 75

224 – Riaan Swart AMA 72 77 75, Andi Dill 76 74 74, Divan Marais 81 69 74

225 – Christian Basson AMA 68 76 81, Bradley Diggeden AMA 70 78 77, Ray Janse van Rensburg AMA 76 74 75

226 – Duan Nagel AMA 73 75 78, Jaco van der Merwe AMA 73 76 77

227 – Michael-James Steyn 68 76 83

228 – Gareth Sargent AMA 74 75 79, Tumelo Molloyi 75 74 79, Lincon Cele 76 74 78

231 – Zander Gous AMA 72 73 86

PHOTO – IGT Challenge Tour Race to Q-School #3 champion Ruan Korb; credit CJ du Plooy.

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

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