30th August 2016 | Big Easy IGT Golf
Beckley, Strydom lead logjam in Centurion
(PHOTO – Aubrey Beckley; credit CJ du Plooy)
TSHWANE, 30 August 2016 – North West amateur Aubrey Beckley and 11-time IGT Tour champion Ockie Strydom from Kempton Park were locked atop the Centurion Challenge leaderboard at 13 after a seesaw battle in Tuesday’s third round at Centurion Country Club.
Beckley, who began the day one shot behind first round pacesetter Duane Keun, closed the day with a four-under par round of 68 and Strydom overcame a two shot deficit grab a share of pole position with a five under 67.
Keun stayed in touch with the leaders, carding a 70 to tie for third with amateurs Tristen Strydom and Danie van Niekerk, who fired matching 64s to pull within a shot of the leading duo.
Local favourite Juan Swart also enjoyed a profitable day at his home course, reeling in a string of five birdies before the turn and completing the back nine in 33 strokes for a 63 to finish alone at 11 under with the low round of the day.
Strydom, who is hunting his fifth victory this season, had an eagle start and countered three bogeys with six birdies, while Beckley from the HPC TuksGolf Academy offset a bogey on each nine with a trio of birdies in each loop.
Big-hitting Beckley closing out a five stroke victory in the Sanlam Cape Province Open earlier this season and the Golf RSA National Squad player came into this week came into this week on the back of a runner-up finish in last week’s Wingate Challenge.
He is itching to convert some promising recent form into a maiden victory on the country’s premier development Tour.
“I’d love to give myself a chance to win this week,” said the 22-year-old from Potchefstroom. “I feel like every week on the IGT Tour is quite pressure filled and I had to play really well to take second last week. I hit the ball really well in the first round and my long iron-play was great, so I made the kind of start I was looking for.
“Today I struggled a little off the tee and battled a bit with the long irons, as well, but my short game was hot and it really saved me. I went to the range straight after play and worked on a couple of things and I feel that I’ve sorted out the issues.
“I have found that the transition from amateur to pro can be difficult and easy at the same time, because it’s a very different environment, but it’s the same game you’re playing. I approach the IGT Tour tournaments as just another week on tour and that helps me to keep a cool head.
“I am excited to see if I can play well enough to give myself a chance coming down the stretch. The leaderboard is tight and all the guys around me are in-form and playing really well, so it should be a really good fight tomorrow.”