13th November 2018 | IGT Golf

Nel surges into two-way tie at Big Easy IGT Irene

Nel surges into two-way tie at Big Easy IGT Irene
(Eric Nel; credit CJ du Plooy)

PRETORIA, 13 November 2018 – Eric Nel signed off with a pair of birdies at Irene Country Club to join overnight leader Matt Bright in pole position in the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour #14 on Tuesday.
The Centurion golfer picked up seven shots to post a second round four-under-par 68 and finish alongside Bright, who birdied the last hole for a 70 and a 36-hole total of nine-under 135.
Nel and Bright will take a slender one shot lead into the final round over Luke Brown and Dylan Kok – both winners on the IGT Challenge Tour this season – as well Gary Player School of 2018 member Derick Petersen.
Korea’s DK Kim and Ulsterman John McClean tied for sixth on seven-under, with former Sunshine Tour winner Heinrich Bruiners a further shot back in joint eighth with Marthin Scheepers and last year’s IGT Challenge Tour Money List winner Ruan Conradie.
Thabiso Ngcobo from the Gary Player School of 2018 fired seven birdies for a flawless 65 to claim the low round honour and rocket to a tie for 14th on four-under 140.
Bright offset an early pair of bogeys at 14 and 15 with birdies at 10, 18, six and nine.
Nel bogeyed 11 and 14 and 16, but birdies at 15, 17 and 18 took him back to level. Another brace of birdies at five and six saw the 21-year-old rookie dip two under par and he completed a flawless back nine with another pair of birdies at eight and nine to force his way into the lead.
“I played solid tee to green, but three wayward tee shots cost me three shots on my front nine,” said Nel. “I leaked my tee shots right at 11 and 14 and couldn’t up-and-down for par and the tee shot veered left at 16, leaving me with a tough up-and-down for par.
“I had chances at one, two and three, and I holed a 15-footer to save par at four, which gave me some confidence. At five and six, I hit two good drives followed by two good approaches that left me with putts inside 10 foot for birdie. I drained a 40-footer at eight birdie and hit a good approach into nine and two-putted for birdie.”
The top 10 players will earn cards for the 2018/2019 Sunshine Tour after the Big Easy Tour Championship from 12-14 December.
Bright has virtually guaranteed his card at number one in the Race to Sunshine Tour. The business entrepreneur backed up successive victories in June and July with a fistful of top 10 finishes and banked more than R40K along the way.
Time is running out for Nel, though.
He has had a mixed bag of results this season and a series of missed cuts sees him well back in the 40th spot in the standings. Nel must earn at least R20 000 in the last three events to break into the top 10 and victory on Wednesday would mean a R10 500 pay-day.
“The pressure is definitely on, but it’s important to put that out of your mind in the final round,” Nel said. “The key tomorrow will be to take the round shot-for-shot and hole-by-hole and see where that leaves you when the final putt drops.”

Second Round Scores
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA
135 – Eric Nel 67 68, Matt Bright 65 70
136 – Luke Brown 67 69, Dylan Kok 69 67, Derick Petersen 68 68
137 – DK Kim (KOR) 67 70, John McClean (NIR) 68 69
138 – Marthin Scheepers 66 72, Ruan Conradie 67 71, Heinrich Bruiners 71 67
139 – Jason Diab 69 70, Jason Rossiter 69 70, Louis Albertse 71 68
140 – Albert Venter 70 70, Antonio Costa (CHL) 73 67, Thabang Simon 68 72, Kyle Barker 67 73, Thriston Lawrence 70 70, Tristen Strydom 69 71, Allan Versfeld 69 71, Juran Dreyer 73 67, Dwayne Basson 69 71, Leon Vorster 70 70, Roberto Lupini 67 73, Thabiso Ngcobo 75 65
141 – Jason Roets 71 70, Jeff Inglis (ENG) 72 69, Theunis Bezuidenhout 66 75, Teboho Sefatsa 70 71, Matthew Spacey 72 69, Paul Boshoff 70 71, Keaton Slatter 72 69, Estiaan Conradie 68 73, Wayne Stroebel 71 70, Duane Keun 73 68, Ruan Korb 72 69, Gerard du Plooy 70 71, Altaaf Bux 71 70
Missed the cut:-
142 – Jonathan Waschefort 74 68, Coert Groenewald 70 72, Daniel Hammond 71 71, Michiel Bothma 73 69, Andi Dill 68 74, Ruhan van Dijk 72 70, Matthew Rushton 71 71, Jade Buitendag 72 70, Pieter Moolman 75 67, Dylan Mostert 72 70, Bradley Diggeden AMA 69 73
143 – Hayden Griffiths 73 70, Giulio Castagnara AMA (ITA) 74 69, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 75 68, Jason Smith 72 71, Luke Mayo AMA 74 69, Michael Saunders (ENG) 73 70, Andrew Williamson AMA 72 71, Yubin Jung 71 72, Stuart Smith (BOT) 71 72, Anton Haig 72 71, Hendrikus Stoop 74 69, Marco de Beer 71 72
144 – Stefan Wears-Taylor 77 67, Marcel Steyn Scholtz AMA 74 70, Clinton Grobler 69 75, Keelan Africa 72 72
145 – Christopher de Beer 73 72, Bryce Myburgh 73 72, Quintin Crause 75 70, Ryan Tipping 73 72, Steven Lecuyer (CAN) 69 76, Christof Appel 72 73, Matt Saulez AMA 70 75, Christopher van der Merwe AMA 73 72, Francois Coetzee 74 71, James Pennington (SWZ) 73 72, David Rebelo 71 74, Gary Daoust (BEL) 72 73, Juan Pierre Cooper AMA 73 72
146 – Allister de Kock 76 70, Greg Bentley (ZIM) 72 74, Jack Duthie 68 78
147 – Arno Pretorius 74 73, Tokkie van den Berg 75 72, Ricky Palonis (USA) 72 75, Makhetha Mazibuko 76 71, Neal Herman 75 72, Cameron Moralee 71 76
148 – Bennie van der Merwe 77 71, Michael-James Steyn 75 73, Paul Colditz 74 74, Romano Saincic 74 74, Louis Calitz 74 74
149 – Brett Liddle 72 77, Philip Geerts (ITA) 75 74, Hanish Nagrani (ZIM) 77 72, Conway Kunneke 79 70, Jakob Montemurro (CAN) 77 72, Jay Fourie 73 76, Andrew Carlsson 71 78, Andrew Burmester 76 73, Gareth Sargent AMA 77 72, Maritz Wessels 78 71, Tyran van Lieshout 73 76
150 – Zabastian de Jager 75 75, Richard Joubert 71 79, Dean du Plessis AMA 76 74, Patrick Thompson 75 75, Cody White (CAN) 77 73, Leon Visser 71 79, Terence Mogapi 75 75
151 – Basil Wright 77 74, Keanu Pestana AMA 76 75, Alpheus Kelapile 78 73, Harry Konig (ENG) 75 76
152 – Nqobani Ndabambi (ZIM) 72 80, Deon Bredenkamp 76 76
153 – Zander Gous AMA 74 79, Phumlani Maluka 75 78, Peetie van der Merwe 83 70, Jabulane Mabilane 78 75
154 – Tumelo Molloyi 77 77
155 – Fezekile Kana 77 78, Jancarel Rossouw AMA 79 76
156 – Thabo Moraba 78 78
157 – Nico du Buisson 80 77, David McIntyre 74 83, Warric Dyers 77 80, Cole Dodgen AMA 79 78, Divan Marais 76 81
158 – Nick Loake 80 78
159 – Cameron Gurr AMA 78 81
160 – Neo Mokgatle AMA 85 75
161 – Michael Dreyer 79 82
162 – Marais Visagie 82 80, Adam Baker 83 79
163 – Marcus Smal AMA 80 83
168 – Chase Paton AMA 89 79
171 – Ethan Joseph 86 85
WDN – Sipho Bujela 78 WDN
RTD – Michael Kok 72 RTD

Ends

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

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