31st August 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Docherty drives into BDGA Classic lead

Kyalami24-26AugDay1 (44)(PHOTOS: Dylan Docherty; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 31 August 2015 – Edenvale’s Dylan Docherty continued his renaissance on the IGT Tour with a three-under-par 69 to take the lead on the opening day of the BDGA Academy Classic at Eagle Canyon Country Club on Monday.

The Modderfontein golfer finished two strokes clear from Herman Minnie and Siphiwe Siphayi and amateur pair Michael Pienaar and CJ Levey.

Minnie from the GFG Academy and Siphayi matched each other with five birdies, a double bogey and two drops, while Pienaar offset a quartet of bogeys with five gains and GFG Academy’s Levey mixed four birdies with three bogeys for his 71.

South Africa’s top ranked Ivanna Samu, who makes her debut in the prestigious Duke of York Young Champions Trophy in Kent, England next week, also joined the action on the country’s premier development Tour.

The reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play champion enjoyed in three birdies on the front nine, but spoiled a flawless run with back-to-back double bogeys at 12 and 13.

Samu boxed another birdie at 14 and finished four straight pars to join the bus at one over alongside fellow amateurs Louwtjie van Vuuren, Jason Ackerman, Cole Dodgen, Joubert van Eeden, Devan Payne and Louis Taylor.

Fellow GFG Academy player Carrie Park finished a further two strokes back.

Docherty, who campaigned on the Sunshine Tour in 2009 and 2010 before injuries derailed his run, is hoping to have a second crack in the paid ranks next year.

The 30-year-old was full of smiles after edging into the lead with five birdies and a pair of bogeys.

“I suffered a dog bite to the face and had two knee surgeries, so I gave up the game and started working for a logistics company,” Doherty explained.

“I even got my amateur status back to play league, but my heart wasn’t in it. You don’t get a lot of second chances in life, but I was fortunate to get the opportunity to go back and I am working all out to get fighting fit and match ready for Q-School in December.”

Docherty has been working with Doug Wood at the Wanna Be A Champion Academy since February on swing changes to build a more complete golf swing.

“The last eight months has been an incredible test of patience and perseverance,” he said.

“There was a lot of technical stuff to drill into the swing, but it really feels good to see positive results now that we are putting the swing into practice.”

Docherty birdied two and three and was two under through 12 holes before he dropped his first shot.

“I got a hard bounce and flew the green at 13, but I knocked a full sand-wedge to five feet and took care of the damage with a birdie at the next hole,” he said.

“After par at 15 and another birdie at 16, I pitched back left on the green at 17. The ball took one bounce and finished on the hazard line. I hit a decent chip, but it didn’t release enough.

“I lipped-out for bogey, but hit a great drive down the middle and a solid five-iron in 18 for a two-putt birdie finish.

“I am striking the ball well and the swing is feeling solid. It’s a nice two shot cushion to take into the second round, but the real test will be tomorrow.

“All season long I have struggled to string together two good rounds. I could shoot 77 in round and 67 in the next. Everything we’ve done to my swing is aimed at consistency, so the pressure is on to sheet a sub-par round on Tuesday.”

FIRST ROUND SCORES

69 – Dylan Docherty (AMA)

71 – Herman Minnie, Siphiwe Siphayi, Michael Pienaar (AMA), CJ Levey (AMA)

72 – Tumelo Molloyi (AMA), Danie Pretorius, Sean Olfsen (AMA)

73 – Louwtjie J van Vuuren (AMA), Jason Ackerman (AMA), Cole Dodgen (AMA), Joubert Van Eeden (AMA), Ivanna Samu (AMA), Devan Payne (AMA), Louis Taylor (AMA)

74 – Christiaan Pretorius, Tung-nan Lin (AMA) TWN, Hilton Hughes (AMA), Bryce Leach (AMA)

75 – Dylan Mostert (AMA), Lloyd Herbst (AMA), Carrie Park (AMA), Matthew Adams (AMA), Michael Kok (AMA), David McIntyre (AMA), Duan Nagel (AMA), Matt Bright (AMA), Vincent Mienie (AMA)

76 – Dwayne Coetzee, Gregory Beltramo, Simon Kruger, Kyle Barker (AMA)

77 – Morne Wolmarans (AMA), Norman Beggs, Niel Meyer

78 – Chris Haefele, Jacques Ungerer

79 – Godfrey Mphaga, Terence Boardman

80 – Juan De Bruin (AMA), Dylan de Beer

81 – Alex Krebs (AMA)

86 – Lourens Du Plessis

88 – Adrian Maritz (AMA)

89 – Heinrich Venter (AMA), Chad Sales (AMA)

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