6th December 2016 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Bogey-free Boshoff charges to Sun City lead

SunCityDay1 (151)(PHOTO – Paul Boshoff; credit CJ du Plooy)

Lali Stander

PILANSBURG, 6 December 2016 – Amateur Paul Boshoff emerged from the chasing pack a flawless five-under-par 67 to take the second round lead in the IGT Tour’s Race to Q-School #10 at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

The 19-year-old Serengeti golfer produced three birdies on the front nine and added a brace of birdies after the turn to move to the top at three under 141.

He holds a slender one shot advantage over Jonathan Waschefort, but has a comfortable five-shot cushion over Race to Q-School leader Damian Naicker and BDGA Academy stable-mate David McIntyre in third at two over.

Waschefort followed his pacesetting first round 70 with a 72, while Naicker and McIntyre returned respective rounds of 74 and 73.

Sunshine Tour campaigner Francois Coetzee, 2016 Irene Challenge winner Tristan Strydom, Clinton Grobbler and North West amateur Aubrey Beckley finished a further stroke adrift.

Boshoff hit every green and missed just one fairway around the demanding 7,831 metre layout.

“I’ve played a lot of golf at Sun City and I’ve always liked the Gary Player Country Club, because it’s a course that rewards good ball-striking,” said Boshoff.

“There are some tricky holes, but there a few holes where you can be more aggressive, especially the par fives. I didn’t make any mistakes and that always gives you chances to score here. It looks like I’m heading to the right direction and hopefully I can keep it going like this in the final round.”

Boshoff picked up his only birdie at the sixth hole in the first round, but a three-putt bogey at seven wiped out his short-lived advantage and he dropped further shots at nine and 11. He began the second round with a par-birdie start that set the tone for the round.

“I hit my drive at the second just slightly off the fairway,” he said.

“You shouldn’t go for the green if you’re not in the fairway, because you could catch a flier out of the thick rough around here. I laid up instead and hit a seven-iron 15 feet past the pin. I holed the putt and that was the longest birdie putt I had all day.

“My goals were to limit the mistakes, to keep it play and to convert the makeable chances to get into contention for the final round. At the eighth, I hit a six-iron to six feet and made the birdie putt and at the ninth, I laid up and hit a gap-wedge to six feet to set up my third birdie.”

He birdied 11 from three feet and hit it to a foot at 12 for a last birdie before cruising home in six pars.

Boshoff said it was great to string together such a solid round with the First Stage of the Asian Tour Qualifying School in Bangkok just a month away.

“I’m striking the ball really well at the moment and that obviously feeds the confidence,” he said. “You have to be in the fairway to give yourself the chance to pepper the pins around here. If I arrive in Asia with this kind of game, I’m really hopeful that I’ll make it into the Second Stage.”

Lightning strikes caused a two-hour suspension and, with the projected cut sitting at 17 over par, the organisers were forced to withdraw all players who were well over the cut-line.

“Unfortunately we would not have been able to finish the round, so we permitted the players within two shots of the projected cut to finish and withdrew rest,” said IGT Tour commissioner Cois du Plooy. “All the players who missed the cut and who were withdrawn will play a free round at the Lost City golf course while the final round of the Race to Q-School #10 is underway at the Gary Player.”

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