7th October 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Cool-hand Kruger cashes in at Race to Q-School

Ruimsig5-7OctDay3 (197)(PHOTO – Pieter Kruger; credit CJ du Plooy)

ROODEPOORT, 7 October 2015 – Blue Valley golfer Pieter Kruger held his nerve over the closing stretch at Ruimsig Country Club to claim a two stroke victory in the IGT Tour’s first Race to Q-School, presented by Wanna Be A Champion Academy, on Wednesday.

Kruger closed with a one under 71 to triumph on seven-under-par 209.

Dean O’Riley’s final round 69 left him two strokes short of the target, while fellow professionals David Lamprecht and Drew Roelofze shared fourth on four under with respective rounds of 72 and 73.

Amateur Michael Pienaar returned a 73 to tie for fifth on two under alongside IGT Tour winner Joubert van Eeden (72), Jason Diab (72), TJ Bekker (74) and John McClean from Northern Ireland, who posted a 69.

Earlier rounds of 68 and 70 saw Kruger start the final round with one stroke lead and his advantage never came under any real threat.

“I had a birdie, bogey combination at the start and seven straight pars to reach the turn,” said the GFG Academy player.

“I picked up two more birdies at 10 and 12 and gave one back at 14, but I had a three stroke lead with four holes to play. You can never really let your guard down, but I was pretty relaxed because I knew what I needed to do to finish it off and sealed the deal with pars at the last four holes.

“I just stayed patient throughout the tournament, and especially over the last four holes. My game plan for the final round was to try and limit the mistakes.

“It’s Race to Q-School time, so the set-up is tough. Over the closing stretch, I just played for pars because there is no point in getting fancy when you’re in the lead.”

The 31-year-old Limpopo native is the head coach at the Colbyn Golf Park in Pretoria.

He was pretty proud to dash off to his day job with his third trophy on the country’s premier development Tour clinched under the arm.

“I think it is normal for students to wonder if the coach really knows what you are talking about and it’s going to do my reputation the world of good when I arrive with the trophy,” he laughed.

“And the IGT Tour will be broadcasting highlights from all nine of the Race to Q-School events on SuperSport, so they will know I didn’t buy it at the trophy at the R5 Shop around the corner.”
Kruger said he enjoyed having the television crew following him around.

“It’s great fun. You automatically stand a little straighter, hit it a little further and putt with more conviction when the cameras are on you.

“The guys from ATV Productions were very professional and I think it’s great to expose the young rookies and amateurs used to the cameras, too. It can be intimidating if you’ve never had that kind of experience before.”

The second IGT Tour Race to Q-School will be presented by BDGA Academy and hosted Pecanwood Golf Estate from 12-14 October.

FINAL RESULT

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as (ama):

209 – Pieter Kruger 68 70 71

211 – Dean O’Riley 68 74 69

212 – David Lamprecht 72 68 72, Bryandrew Roelofsz 70 69 73

214 – John McClean NIR 69 76 69, Jason Diab 69 73 72, Joubert van Eeden 69 73 72, Michael Pienaar (ama) 71 70 73, TJ Bekker 70 70 74

215 – Rae Mackie 71 72 72, Bryn Flanagan 70 76 69

216 – Louis Taylor (ama) 73 70 73, Danie Pretorius 76 66 74

217 – Terence Boardman 75 70 72, Jonathan Waschefort 70 72 75

218 – Derryn Mitri (ama) 75 71 72, Jacques Ungerer 71 71 76, Andi Dill (ama) 74 74 70, Carlos Arroyo (ama) 74 73 71, Ruan Korb (ama) 70 71 77

219 – Dylan Docherty (ama) 71 75 73, Ryan Wingrove (ama) 72 74 73, Andre Pistorius 75 72 72, Conway Kunneke 73 74 72, Norman Beggs 80 68 71, Shaun van Tonder 74 74 71

220 – Matthew Adams (ama) 74 71 75, Matthew Vogel 71 73 76, Christiaan Pretorius 70 73 77, Christian Olivier (ama) 75 72 73

221 – Simon Kruger 70 72 79

222 – Alrich Labuschagne 74 74 74

223 – Michael Schutz (ama) 74 72 77, Gareth Akers (ama) 73 74 76

224 – NJ Arnoldi 67 78 79, Theodor Oosthuizen (ama) 76 71 77, Nicholas Botha (ama) 73 74 77

227 – Cole Dodgen (ama) 72 74 81, Richard Tsai (ama) 75 72 80

RTD – Dougie Meijer 71 76 RTD

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