26th June 2018 | IGT Golf

Simon blasts to the front at Killarney

Simon blasts to the front at Killarney
(PHOTO – Thabang Simon; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 26 June 2018 – Thabang Simon will take a two-shot lead into the last lap at Killarney Country Club after he shot to the top of the pile in the in the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour #5 late on Tuesday.
Sunshine Tour campaigner DK Kim had a brace of birdies at four and five to take the early lead, but bogeys at nine and 10 set him back. Simon cancelled a pair of bogeys with four birdies for a two under 68 and the Soweto golfer will head into the final round on five-under-par 135.
Kim from Korea dropped another shot at 12, but got back to where he began the day at three under with a second round 70, courtesy of a birdie at 15.
Marthin Scheepers dropped four shots, but a pair of birdies on his back nine kept the overnight leader in the mix. The Akasia golfer signed for a 72 to finish within three shots of the lead.
In early May, Simon opened with a four-under 69 to lead the field in the second Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour event at Modderfontein Golf Club, but the 42-year-old Kliprivier resident fizzled out of contention with further rounds of 75 and 73.
He was back in contention a week later at the third Big Easy IGT, where he fired a final round 68 at State Mines to claim a share of third.
“I got ahead of myself at Modderfontein, but that’s something I avoided well today,” said the Gary Player School of 2018 member.
“I concentrated very hard on just playing one shot at a time and staying in the present. It worked out well for me. I didn’t get ahead of myself at all, and it just goes to show what you can do with the right mind-set. The greens are really fast and firm, but when I got onto the greens, I converted almost all of my chances. I had a couple of bogeys and I missed a few putts, but we’re only human. You’re always going to leave one or two out there.
“I’m pleased with how I’m playing and where I am on the leaderboard. It could have been better, but I’m in contention with one round to go and that’s what I wanted. The greens are going to be even quicker. Depending on where they stick the pins, the strategy will be the same. Fairways, greens and hole putts.”
The seasoned professional said he has been enjoying keeping company with the amateurs and the young pros on the joint golf development venture between the Sunshine Tour and the IGT Challenge Tour.
“I think it’s really good for them to be around us and for us to spend a little time with them,” said Simon. “I played the last two rounds with little Franklin Manchest from George. He came through the SA Development Board and then went into the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation.
“Now Franklin is on the Gary Player School of 2018 squad. He is a very talented golfer. He missed the cut but he improved four shots today. The Big Easy and the IGT Challenge Tours is the best place for him to cut his teeth. I really enjoyed the time out there with him and Matt (Bright). Those kids kept me on my toes.”
Meanwhile last week’s IGT Challenge Tour champion Slade Pickering reeled off four birdies from the third. Two further gains at 14 and 15 for a five-under-par 65 earned Virginia Tech University student the low round of the day.
The Pecanwood amateur shares seventh with on one-under with Matt Bright and David McIntyre. Bright carded 71 and McIntyre posted 69.
Estiaan Conradie, the IGT Challenge Tour Race to Q-School winner last year, returned a 73 to tie for seventh with Anton Haig and Ruan Korb, who registered respective rounds of 69 and 67.

Second Round Scores
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA
135 – Thabang Simon 67 68
137 – Dongkwan Kim (KOR) 67 70
138 – Marthin Scheepers 66 72
139 – David McIntyre 70 69, Matt Bright 68 71, Slade Pickering AMA (a) 74 65
140 – Estiaan Conradie 67 73, Anton Haig 71 69, Ruan Korb 73 67
141 – Stuart Smith (BOT) 70 71, Heinrich Bruiners 70 71, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 71 70
142 – Matthew Rushton 71 71, Dayne Moore (ZAM) 68 74, Dylan Mostert 69 73, Ryan Tipping 71 71, Clinton Grobler 72 70, Pieter Moolman 72 70, Ruan Conradie 74 68
143 – Michael Schutz 75 68, Theunis Bezuidenhout 71 72, Jade Buitendag 74 69
144 – Keanu Pestana AMA (a) 73 71, James Pennington (SWZ) 71 73, Sean Bradley 72 72
145 – Jason Diab 75 70, Otto van Buynder AMA (a) 70 75, Jeff Inglis (ENG) 75 70, Jabulane Mabilane 73 72, Romano Saincic 69 76, Arno Pretorius 74 71, Shalan Govender 74 71, Makhetha Mazibuko 74 71, Peetie van der Merwe 72 73, Kyle Barker 73 72
Missed the cut:-
146 – Jacques de Villiers 72 74, Allister de Kock 73 73, Matthew Spacey 73 73, Conway Kunneke 75 71, Thabiso Ngcobo 73 73
147 – Jason Rossiter 75 72, Gert Myburgh 72 75, Keegan Mclachlan AMA 76 71, Ruan Groenewald 71 76, Paul Boshoff 76 71, Michiel Bothma 74 73, Dylan Kok 75 72, Coert Groenewald 76 71
148 – Derick Petersen 77 71, Jason Roets 81 67, Leon Vorster 74 74, Irvin Mazibuko 71 77, Maritz Wessels 75 73, Louis Albertse 75 73, Paul Rodrigues AMA (a) 73 75, Duane Keun 72 76, Dylan Docherty 75 73, Teddy Mathebula 70 78, Ruhan van Dijk 71 77, Michael Kok 72 76
149 – Brett Liddle 76 73, Tokkie van den Berg 72 77, Sipho Bujela 71 78, Leon Visser 75 74, Hendrikus Stoop 78 71
150 – Landon Ferguson AMA 76 74, Neezy Thubisi 76 74, Roberto Lupini 74 76, Gary Daoust (BEL) 75 75
151 – Luke Brown 74 77, Daniel Hammond 75 76, Teboho Sefatsa 75 76, Warric Dyers 76 75, Antonio Costa (CHL) 78 73
152 – John McClean (NIR) 77 75, Jason Viljoen 74 78, Aneurin Gounden AMA (a) 72 80, Paulo Serrao (POR) 83 69, Hayden Griffiths 81 71, Adam Baker 77 75
153 – Dwayne Basson 77 76, Jay Fourie 77 76, Franklin Manchest 79 74, Andi Dill 75 78, Ricardo Towell 72 81
154 – Eric Nel 74 80, Wayne Stroebel 74 80, Jason Smith 72 82, Jonathan Waschefort 77 77
155 – Michael Dreyer 80 75, Phumlani Maluka 77 78, Caylum Boon AMA 77 78, Gerard du Plooy 80 75, Neal Herman 76 79
156 – Stephan Erasmus 78 78, Greg Bentley (ZIM) 78 78, Adriel Poonan 74 82, Jastice Mashego 78 78
157 – Keelan Africa 77 80
159 – Thabo Moraba 83 76
160 – Jonathan George AMA 80 80
161 – Stals Swart AMA 79 82, Liam Labuschagne AMA 80 81
163 – Marcus Smal AMA 83 80
WDN – Divan Marais WDN WDN
RTD – Andrew Carlsson 76 RTD, Keaton Slatter RTD RTD, Quintin Crause 74 RTD

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

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