1st June 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Daoust makes perfect start at Randpark

Randpark1-3JuneDay1 (102)(PHOTO – Gary Daoust; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 1 June 2015 – Gary Daoust enjoyed a perfect start to his IGT Tour debut when he took pole position alongside fellow amateur David Ashley and professional Jacques de Villiers in the Tour Bound Academy Classic at Randpark Golf Club on Monday.

The 20-year-old University of Kansas student and his co-leaders all navigated their way around the championship layout of the newly-opened Firethorn course in three-under-par 69s.

The leaders finished one shot clear of TJ Bekker, Chris Pretorius and rookie Jason Froneman, who eagled the par-five 12th en route to a two under 70.

IGT Tour winners Bryn Flanagan and Michael Palmer are in the bus at one under with Sheldon Steyn from Zimbabwe, Romano Saincic and amateurs Stephan Erasmus, Cameron Nesmith and David McIntyre.

Bryn Roelofsz – a two-time winner this season – lurks at even par alongside Shalan Govender and amateur Carlos Arroyo.

Benoni-born Daoust graduated from the Crenshaw Academy in Florida and enrolled at the University of Kansas last August.

One of the youngest members of the university’s men’s golf team, he assisted the Jayhawks to seven top-five finishes, a victory at the Desert Shootout in Tucscon and runner-up finish at the Ram Masters Invitational in Colorado. Along the way, he posted the second lowest score on the – a seven-under-par 65 – in the Price’s Give ‘Em Five Invitational, where he finished seventh overall.

Home on a three-month summer break, Daoust wanted to stay competitive. He was going to play some amateur events until his father came across the IGT Tour on the web.

“I decided to give it a try, because I could test myself against amateurs and pros,” he said.

Daoust sandwiched a bogey at 13 between birdies at 12 and 14 on his front nine and parred his way to the turn. He collected another pair of birdies at three and six on a flawless back nine.

“This course is pretty long and the greens are tough,” he said. “I made a couple of soft mistakes, but overall, the ball striking was good.

“You have to be very accurate into the greens, though, because they are very hard and unforgiving. I didn’t really know what to expect, so I am pretty happy with the first round.”

Ashley, who broke through for his maiden win in the IGT Tour Summer Swing at ERMP in February, and De Villiers, a two-time Race to the USA winner last year, also mixed four birdies with a lone bogey.

The 25-year-old De Villiers was pleased to be in contention ahead of his third Big Easy Tour start.

“I don’t think this is the kind of course where the guys will shoot low numbers,” he said. “The greens run pure and true, but they have a lot of slopes and undulation. The course itself is playing quite long and with the tricky greens, ball control is at a premium.

“I only dropped one shot out there, so the game is in really good nick, but I was slightly frustrated not to birdie the par-fives. I did hole a 30-footer for birdie at the ninth that took the sting out, though.”

FIRST ROUND SCORES

69 – Gary Daoust (AMA), David Ashley (AMA), Jacques de Villiers

70 – Jason Froneman, TJ Bekker, Christiaan Pretorius

71 – Romano Saincic, Bryn Flanagan, Stephan Erasmus (AMA), Sheldon Steyn ZIM, Michael Palmer, Cameron Nesmith (AMA), David McIntyre (AMA)

72 – Carlos Arroyo (AMA), Shalan Govender, Bryandrew Roelofsz

73 – Paul de Beer, Stephan de Beer, Danie Pretorius, Louis Taylor (AMA), Matt Bright (AMA)

74 – Sean Coomer (AMA), Michael Armstrong (AMA), Michael Pienaar (AMA)

75 – Graeme Limper (AMA), Simon Kruger (AMA), Norman Beggs, Jason Diab, Matthew Kiewitz (AMA), CJ Levey (AMA), Herman Minnie, Ian Ansett (AMA)

76 – Joubert van Eeden (AMA), Siphiwe Siphayi, Khaya Jika, Brendan Britten NAM, Duane Keun, David Lamprecht, Michael Schutz (AMA)

77 – Cole Dodgen (AMA), Bartjie de Klerk (AMA), Keegan Steyn (AMA), Tyron McComb

78 – Arno Bartholoma GER, Matthew Adams (AMA), Ryan Wingrove (AMA), Etzard Grimbeek (AMA), Carrie Park (AMA), Francois van Rensburg (AMA), Brad Diffenthal, Matt Wollman (AMA) GER, Juan de Bruin (AMA), Werner Lourens (AMA)

79 – Wesley Baptiste (AMA), Michael Van Hoeck (AMA) BEL, Gareth Akers (AMA), Gary Baynham, Ramon Rigney

80 – Rhoan Gardiner, Nicholas Botha (AMA), Shaun van Tonder, Jason Ackerman (AMA), Ivanna Samu (AMA)

81 – Kyle Lee, Owen Grobler, Armand Azar (AMA)

82 – Paul Cuningham, Justin Levy NLD, Devan Payne (AMA), Matthew Vogel

83 – Richard Tsai (AMA)

84 – Michael Kok (AMA), Louwtjie J van Vuuren (AMA)

85 – Marc de Jager (AMA), Duan Nagel (AMA), Morne Wolmarans (AMA), Brandon Shiers (AMA)

88 – Daniel Steenkamp (AMA), Donovan Pestana (AMA), Angelo Marques (AMA)

106 – JP Basson (AMA)

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