4th July 2014 | Big Easy IGT Golf

De Villiers takes Race to the USA Championship

Centurion1-3JulyDay3 (90)(Photo – Jacques du Villiers; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSHWANE, 3 July 2014 – Free State golfer Jacques de Villiers bagged his second IGT Tour Eagle in as many weeks with back-to-back success in the IGT Tour’s first Race to the USA series on Thursday.

The 24-year-old took his winning form from Modderfontein to Centurion Country Club and fired a flawless final round six-under-par 66 for a podium finish at the Race to the USA Championship.

De Villiers finished three shots clear of first round leader, TJ Bekker, who closed with a 71.

“Things didn’t really happen for me earlier this season and it is incredible to keep this winning feeling going,” he said. “Plus, now I have matching bookends for above the fireplace.”

The pins and tee boxes at the pristine Centurion layout was arranged mirror those of the Sunshine Tour’s former Telkom PGA Pro-Am over all three rounds and this provided a stern test for the professionals and amateurs.

Despite a slow start with eight pars and a lone birdie at the par-five 15th, De Villiers came out fighting on the back nine and produced the goods at crunch time.

The Schoemanspark golfer holed a 10-footer for birdie at the first. His tee-shot at the par-three third it the pin and deflected 12-feet past the hole, but De Villiers drained the putt to go three under.

“I had a bit of luck at the fifth when my tee shot ran through the fairway bunker, but it left me on a downslope,” De Villiers said.

“I laid up about five meters from the green and had a great up-and-down for birdie. The ninth is a drivable par-four. I hit a great tee shot, but left it just short of the green and had another great up-and down for birdie.”

De Villiers was ecstatic about his progress.

“Golf is all about momentum and patience,” he said. “I could easily have gotten frustrated with all those pars on the front nine, and I’m really happy that I stayed patient out there.

“I sunk a 30-footer to save par at the 17th and that changed the momentum for me. And I’m really pleased with the fact that I had only 11 putts on the back nine.

Meanwhile Korean Huyn Park shot a final round 70 to move into a tie for third and seal his position at the top of the Order of Merit. The two-time Race to the USA winner was joined by Conway Kunneke and Lean Boezaart, who returned respective rounds of 67 and 69.

Pieter Kruger vaulted into the lead with a second round 63, but a 10 shots swing saw him tie for fourth at 209 with two-time Race to the USA winner, Russel Franz, who closed with a 69.

Sunshine Ladies Tour regular Alana van Greuning carded rounds of 70, 73 and 69 to tie for eighth on four under and claim her first top 10 finish on the country’s premier development tour.

Fellow pro, Kristen Campbell, followed two 73s with a 74 to finish in 24th spot on 220.

FINAL RESULT

204 – Jacques de Villiers 70 68 66

207 – TJ Bekker 67 69 71

208 – Conway Kunneke 70 71 67, Lean Boezaart 72 67 69, Hyun Park KOR 71 67 70

209 – Russel Franz 72 68 69, Pieter Kruger 73 63 73

212 – Herman Minnie 71 73 68, Alana van Greuning 70 73 69, Calvin Caldeira (AMA) 71 70 71

213 – Rupert Kaminski (AMA) 68 74 71, James Searson 71 69 73

214 – JC van Dommelen 74 70 70, Hano van der Walt 73 70 71, Duane Keun 73 70 71, Coert Groenewald 71 70 73, Brendan De Lange 71 66 77

215 – Michael Scholz 71 73 71, Wayne Stroebel 74 68 73

216 – Romano Saincic 71 74 71, Rae Mackie 70 70 76

218 – Jason Diab (AMA) 74 71 73

219 – Antonio Rosado POR 73 73 73

220 – Kirsten Campbell (AMA) 73 73 74

221 – Stephan Erasmus (AMA) 70 78 73

222 – Jonathan Waschefort 76 69 77, Jason Roets (AMA) 73 72 77, Marthin Scheepers (AMA) 73 74 75

223 – Gareth Akers (AMA) 73 75 75, Tudor Bismark ZIM (AMA) 71 78 74, Khaya Jika 78 71 74, Wesley Baptiste (AMA) 73 76 74

224 – Mike Quinn 76 71 77

225 – Henk Visser 74 74 77

226 – Murray Smit 75 73 78

227 – Jerry Steyn 77 69 81, Robert Herselman FRA 75 74 78

228 – Pierre Viviers 71 74 83

229 – Albert Visser (AMA) 74 70 85

230 – Tyron Mc Comb 74 73 83

WDN – Terence Boardman 71 72 WDN

Latest Big Easy IGT Golf News