1st October 2013 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Buys leads, Haig lurks IGT Ruimsig

(Photo – Anton Haig; credit CJ du Plooy)AntonHaig-IGT

JOHANNESBURG, 1 October 2013 – If birdies are the best remedy to restore a golfer’s sagging confidence, then Anton Haig is riding a wave of self-confidence after producing the fireworks in the round two of IGT Tour Race to Q-School at Ruimsig Country Club on Tuesday.

After a lacklustre opening 77, Haig hovered around the midway mark of the leaderboard, but the former European Tour winner thundered into contention with a flawless 64 to finish three shots off the mark from 36-hole leader, Morne Buys.

Buys matched Haig’s bogey-free effort and also completed his second trip around the 7,512m track in 64 strokes to set the target at six-under-par 138. The 35-year-old Sand golfer reeled in birdies at the first, second, sixth, eighth and ninth, and added three more on the back stretch at 11, 14 and 18.

Buys leads by one from overnight leader Francois Coetzee, who returned a 71, and by two from Korea’s Dongkwan Kim, who carded a 68.

Haig, meanwhile, is keeping IGT Tour Modderfontein winner Brendan de Lange (70) and Polokwane’s CJ du Plessis (72) company at three under 141.

The Nelspruit-born golfer was thrilled with the day’s effort.

“It was just one of those perfect days where the whole game worked well together and then you just have to take advantage,” Haig said. “I was hitting it well and the putter was hot. It’s nice to have more and more days like these as I prepare for European Tour Qualifying School.”

The big-hitting South African got his round going with a pair of birdies at the fourth and fifth and boxed a 12-footer for eagle at the par-five 18th to turn in three-under. He picked up birdie number four at the fourth and reeled in three more in succession from the seventh for his 64.

“I had 36 putts in round one, but I got it down to 28 today and that made a huge difference,” Haig said. “I also did well in accepting the bad shots along with the good ones. I try to keep my frustration to a minimum, focus on the positive aspects of my round and not get hung up on the mistakes.”

Haig is hell-bent on rediscovering the form that saw him win the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2007 and compete at Europe’s highest level for three years.  The 27-year-old is growing visibly in confidence with every good shot, and his second round contained plenty of fine strikes.

“My coach Dougie Wood and I rebuild my swing and it has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Haig said. “It’s great to start seeing it all come together.”

After a couple of years in the desert, Haig enjoyed some success last year in the United States on the eGolf Professional Tour, one of the many feeding Tours for the PGA Tour’s Web.com Tour.

Back in South Africa, he has been campaigning on the IGT Tour and the Sunshine Tour’s Big Easy Tour and enjoyed a podium finish at the Big Easy Tour’s Irene event, which he won by four strokes.

“It’s nice to be winning again, even if it is on small scale,” the two-time Sunshine Tour winner said.

“When I won in Asia, I was very isolated and I lacked a support structure. Now I have so many people in my corner. My manager Philip Manduca, Dougie Wood, my mental coach Holger Landers, my trainer Grant Milne, my wonderful girlfriend and, of course, my parents. I was really in the doldrums, but thanks to these folks, I am determined to get my career back on track again.”

Haig said the IGT Tour has kept him competitive as he prepares for the Big Easy Final at Ebotse Links later this month and Final Stage of European Q-School later in the season

“The IGT Tour is great for guys like me with no status but still needing to stay competitive,” he said. “I’m able to keep my hand in it and work on the small things that still need sorting out. And it’s kind of fun to play against the amateurs to see what we are going to be up against in the near future.”

SECOND ROUND SCORES

All competitors RSA unless otherwise indicated; amateurs = AMA

138 – Morne Buys 74 64

139 – Francois Coetzee 68 71

140 – Dongkwan Kim 72 68

141 – Anton Haig 77 64, Brendan De Lange 71 70, CJ du Plessis 69 72

142 – Gideon Pienaar 70 72, Maritz Wessels 73 69

143 – Callum Mowat (AM) 73 70, Roberto Lupini 73 70, Calvin Caldeira (AM) 71 72

145 – Otto van Greunen 73 72, Morne Wolmarans (AM) 74 71, Andrew Light (AM) 72 73

146 – Andi Dill (AM) 70 76, Lukas Steyn (AM) 76 70

147 – Jacques Kruyswijk 75 72, Nathan Waghorn 73 74, Jerry Steyn 76 71, Lean Boezaart 76 71

148 – Conway Kunneke (AM) 75 73, Johan de Beer 75 73, JC van Dommelen 75 73, Jacques de Villiers 75 73, Wayne du Toit 74 74

149 – Pierre Viviers 72 77, Graeme Vrugtman (AM) 75 74, Hano van der Walt 78 71, Tyrone Ryan 78 71, Niel Meyer (AM) 74 75, Micky Hough 77 72, Wayne Stroebel 77 72, Shaun van Tonder 75 74, Michael Dreyer 81 68

151 – James Searson 75 76, Rob Menzies 78 73, Tyron Mc Comb 76 75, Justin Levy 74 77, Byron Garvie 75 76, Kyle Lee 78 73

152 – Johan Theron 78 74, Jaco Prinsloo 78 74

153 – Daniel Hammond 76 77, Sean Burger 79 74

154 – Zak Van Zyl (AM) 79 75, Pieter Kruger 80 74, Terence Boardman 79 75, Alwyn Vorster 76 78, Jonathan Waschefort 76 78, Ruwan Combrink 80 74, Gareth Akers (AM) 78 76, Kerwin Marais 79 75, Ryan Clarke 79 75, Danie Pretorius 80 74

155 – Jaco Mouton 76 79, JC Ritchie 74 81, Craig Dreyer 81 74

156 – Julian de Wet (AM) 81 75, Paul Van Zyl 79 77, Leon Knoll (AM) 84 72, Marinus Hamman 77 79, Pieter Van der Linde (AM) 81 75, Nabeel Umerji 76 80, Raymond Mathonsi 78 78, Dayne Moore 80 76

Missed the cut:-

157 – Sarel Van der Walt 84 73, Jacques Prinsloo 81 76, Arthur Horne 78 79, Basil Wright (AM) 82 75, Jaryd Wagner 80 77, Mathew De Villiers (AM) 77 80, David Watts (AM) 80 77

158 – Shane Scheepers 80 78, Mike Slabber 78 80, Fouche Botha (AM) 76 82, Elmar Van Der Berg (AM) 81 77, David Lamprecht (AM) 80 78

159 – Romano Saincic 84 75

160 – Ted Hendriks 83 77, Jeandre Fourie 80 80, Henriette Frylinck 85 75

161 – Christiaan Pretorius 84 77

162 – Eugene Moolman 82 80

163 – Bryandrew Roelofsz 81 82, Deon Bredenkamp 79 84, Eduard Van Den Berg (AM) 79 84

164 – Matthew Adams (AM) 84 80, Matthew Vogel 84 80, Jacqui Akers (AM) 86 78, Francesca Cuturi (AM) 81 83

166 – Jarrod Cole-Edwards 88 78, TJ Bekker 86 80

167 – Deane Riley (AM) 84 83

168 – James Garlinge (AM) 87 81, Werner Lourens (AM) 88 80

171 – Rhoan Gardiner 84 87

WDN – Nhlanhla Mohlauli 96 WDN

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