3rd April 2018 | IGT Golf
Mazibuko shares lead at IGT Killarney
Mazibuko shares lead at IGT Killarney
(Photo – Makhetha Mazibuko; credit CJ du Plooy)
JOHANNESBURG, 3 April 2018 – Makhetha Mazibuko made the perfect start to the 2018 IGT Challenge Tour season when he claimed a share of the first round lead in the IGT Challenge at Killarney Country Club on Tuesday.
Gary Daoust set the target with a flawless five-under-par 65, but within half an hour, the Belgium golfer had Mazibuko from the Gary Player Class of 2017 for company.
Mazibuko regained his Sunshine Tour card for this season with a runner-up finish in the Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School and the 29-year-old Free State golfer was pleased with a strong showing ahead of the first three events.
“We’ve got the Africa Swing starting next week – Zambia, Zimbabwe, Zambia – and I want to be ready to fire,” said Mazibuko.
Daoust scored four birdies on the front nine and picked up a further gain at the par five 15th, but Mazibuko had to work a little harder to match the clubhouse target.
He turned two-under with birdies at the second and sixth holes, and dipped three-under with another gain at 12, but a bogey at the par four 13th marred his flawless run.
“I had 168 metres downwind and I should have gone with a 7-iron, but instead I hit duffed an 8-iron and couldn’t up and down to save par,” Mazibuko said. “I birdied 14 to cancel the drop and then I made eagle at the par five to get to five under.
“I hit driver down the middle, and a soft 5-iron pin-high and holed an eight-footer for the eagle. I made another birdie at the short hole (17), but messed up at 18. I was between clubs. I usually hit a 4-iron and a wedge, but I’d been hitting my 2-iron really well and decided to go for it.
“Unfortunately I pushed it. I tried to hit through a gap in the trees, but I hit a tree and finally got it out into the greenside bunker. I made a good up and down from the bunker, though, for bogey. My focus wasn’t really on the golf, so it’s really great to be in the mix.
“One of my big goals this year is to drop some weight and get fitter, so I spent a week after Qualifying School in Bloemfontein doing fitness assessments. It was long days and hard graft. I wasn’t feeling as sharp as I should have been, so this was a good result for me.”
Former IGT Challenge Tour graduate and Sunshine Tour winner JC Ritchie lurks at four-under, with five players a further stroke adrift, including
First Round Scores
65 – Gary Daoust (BEL), Makhetha Mazibuko
66 – JC Ritchie
68 – Juran Dreyer, Ruan Groenewald AMA, Michael Kok AMA, Ruan Korb, Kyle Barker
69 – Jaco Prinsloo, Jacquin Hess, Bennie Van Der Merwe, Altaaf Bux
70 – Estiaan Conradie, Ruan Conradie, Shalan Govender, Angus Ellis-Cole AMA, Keelan Van Wyk AMA, Duane Keun, Armand Van Dyk AMA
71 – Michael-James Steyn, Gianni Pera AMA, Eric Nel, Arno Pretorius, Quintin Crause
72 – Matthew Rossouw AMA, Henning Du Plooy AMA, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Michiel Bothma
73 – Basil Wright, Hendrikus Stoop, Leon Vorster
75 – Sipho Bujela, Handre Truter AMA, Adam Breen AMA, Dylan Mostert AMA
76 – Romano Saincic, Rudolph Van De Venter AMA, Gary Jutzen AMA, Neville Mitchell AMA, Keanu Pestana AMA
77 – Ricardo Towell, Louis Botha, Duan Nagel AMA, Sean Rice AMA, Divan De Villiers AMA
78 – Jonathan Kotzen AMA, Zethu Myeki AMA, Jancarel Rossouw AMA
79 – Adam Baker, Tyron Taylor AMA, Heino Havenga
80 – Liam Clinton AMA, Alwyn Smith, Ricki Dembo
81 – Christopher De Beer, Mpho Mafishe, WM Coetzee AMA, Johan Van Der Wath
82 – Jaco Van Der Merwe AMA
83 – Gavin Mawson AMA, Nicklas Van Wyk AMA
84 – Shaun Bernstein AMA, Trevor Barnes (CAN), Divan Marais
87 – Adrian Brabson AMA, Dean Du Plessis AMA, Christiaan Pretorius
RTD – Tristan Brice AMA
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the IGT Challenge Tour