19th February 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Ashley pips Arnoldi for IGT ERPM title

ERPM16-18FebDay3 (132)(PHOTO – David Ashley; credit CJ du Plooy)

BOKSBURG, 18 February 2015 – Nine months ago David Ashley hung up his clubs, but a social game just before Christmas reignited the spark in the amateur, who claimed a one stroke victory in only his second start on the IGT Tour’s Summer Swing on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Ashley lagged two off the pace from fellow amateur NJ Arnoldi, but a superb trap shot at the final hole set him up for a success at ERPM Golf Club.

Ashley drained a four-footer putt for par to put the finishing touches on a final round 68 and a winning total of 12-under-par 204.

Arnoldi closed with a 71 to take sole second, while first round leader Mike Downes from England finished a further stroke adrift after a final round 67.

Five years ago, Ashley’s family relocated to the United Kingdom and settled in Devon.

The amateur joined Saunton Golf Club and competed on the English amateur circuit, but around a year ago, Ashley felt he was done.

He called it quits and concentrated on his full-time job in quality control at a metal casting company.

“Then I came back to South Africa for my brother’s wedding and I had this social game with my family on the 23rd of December,” Ashley explained.

“The bug bit me hard and I realised how much I missed competing. My cousin CJ Levey suggested I join him at the GFG Academy and get my game back on track.”

Ashley began working with teaching professional Andre Louw, who worked specifically on the golfer’s knock-down shots under pressure.

“It’s been amazing to work with Andre and I’ve definitely seen some huge improvements,” Ashley said.

He made his IGT Tour debut in the first Summer Swing event at Centurion last week, and was in early contention with rounds of 64 and 68.

“I let it slip with a 76 in the final round to finish in the top 20, because I didn’t trust myself over the tougher shots,” he explained.

“I got too tentative when faced with a bad shot. Andre has worked with me non-stop to create a cleaner, free shot in those situations and this week, I really pulled it off.

“When I gave up golf, my stroke average was 71, but I really didn’t believe I had what it takes. Andre has changed my mind in two short months.

“I can’t tell you how great it is to be out here competing again. I’m really grateful that I listened to my cousin, because the IGT Tour is the perfect platform for a guy like me, looking to build form and confidence while testing yourself to see if you are moving in the right direction.”

FINAL RESULT

204 – David Ashley (AMA) 69 67 68

205 – NJ Arnoldi (AMA) 69 65 71

206 – Mike Downes (ENG) 66 73 67

208 – Hilton Hughes (AMA) 67 72 69, Gideon Pienaar68 70 70, Conway Kunneke71 65 72

209 – Tertius Van Den Berg71 66 72

211 – Justin Levy (NLD) 68 74 69, Danie Pretorius70 66 75

212 – Andi Dill (AMA) 71 72 69, Bryn Flanagan74 65 73

213 – Michael Jooste (AMA) 70 71 72, Nyasha Muyambo (ZIM) 72 67 74

215 – Jandre Fullard (AMA) 73 72 70, Stephan Erasmus (AMA) 69 73 73, Simon Kruger (AMA) 74 67 74

216 – TJ Bekker71 73 72

217 – Philip Geerts (AMA) (ITA) 72 73 72, Herman Minnie73 73 71, Christiaan Pretorius72 70 75, CJ Levey (AMA) 75 72 70

220 – Niel Meyer76 73 71, Joubert Van Eeden (AMA) 74 75 71

221 – Carlos Arroyo (AMA)74 72 75, Bernard Hattingh (AMA)70 76 75, Fouche Botha (AMA)72 71 78, Rikus Oosthuizen (AMA)72 74 75, Ryan Wingrove (AMA)75 72 74

223 – Lourens Du Plessis73 74 76, Michael Armstrong (AMA) 72 78 73, Dwayne Coetzee77 74 72

224 – Siphiwe Siphayi (AMA) 73 73 78, Brandon Lydon (AMA) 78 72 74, Brendan Britten (NAM) 76 74 74, Matthew Adams (AMA) 73 78 73

226 – Kyle Lee71 76 79, Bartjie De Klerk (AMA) 74 75 77

227 – PG Van der Linde73 76 78, Derryn Mitri (AMA) 77 74 76, Shane Heckler (AMA) 78 73 76

228 – Sean Coomer (AMA) 73 77 78

230 – Edoardo Torrieri (ITA) 71 77 82

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