14th November 2013 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Du Plessis claims wire-to-wire win at IGT Services

(Photo – CJ du Plessis; credit CJ du Plooy)CJ du Plessis

PRETORIA, 12 November 2013 – CJ du Plessis struck a winning note for the rookies when he completed a wire-to-wire march to victory at the ninth IGT Race to Q-School in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old first season pro carded a two-under-par 70 on a wind-swept day at Services Golf Club to finish four shots ahead of fellow rookie Johan de Beer.

Du Plessis collected a winner’s cheque worth R8,400 for his maiden pro win, but De Beer did soften the blow by adding the R500 lowest round prize to his second place cheque with a closing 67.

Rae Mackie finished a further shot back in third after carding a 69, while former Sunshine Tour winner Brett Liddle (71) shared fourth with Ryan Clark (72) on nine under 207.

Andrew Light from Southern Cape led the amateur leaderboard with rounds of 68-71-72 for a share of 13th while Iliske Verwey topped the ladies leaderboard on three-under-par 203 after rounds of 71-70-72.

Du Plessis seized a six-shot lead in the second round, which remained unchallenged until he birdied the 18th hole for a third consecutive time to put the seal on his first IGT Tour win.

The Limpopo golfer – one of South Africa’s top ranked amateurs in 2012 – has not lived up to his star billing in his rookie season, but the victory has reinforced his belief that it is just a matter of time.

“It is such a huge relief it is to win,” Du Plessis said. “It is so much tougher in the pro-ranks than we imagined. The pressure is enormous and the more you struggle to qualify for a tournament or to make a cut, the more your confidence dwindles.

“I came close a few times this year on the IGT Tour, but I always blew it in the final round. This time I am proud that I took it all the way to the podium.”

Du Plessis did have a few scary moments, especially at the fifth, but recovered well with five birdies.

“The fifth is a tough little hole, but I birdied it in the first two rounds,” he explained. “But doesn’t Heinrich (Liebenberg) tell me, just before I hit it, not to go out of bounds. Two guesses what happened… that double bogey is on him.

“Just joking! Heinrich and I are classmates from Afrikaner Boys High and he didn’t hesitate when I called and asked him to help out. He really did a fantastic job on the bag… great at steadying my nerves and helping me focus on course management. I have to give him credit for the win.”

In addition to winning the event, Du Plessis also reached a few other goals which he set with a view on the last two Sunshine Tour events of the season.

“I wanted to shoot my best rounds this season, and I’ve done that with the first round 64 and 65 in the second. I wanted to make 21 birdies, and I hit that. And I wanted to finish with less than 90 putts. I hit 26, 25 and 29 for a total of 80.”
Du Plessis says that these numbers might be useless stats for some people, but when you are looking down the barrel, these goals help you focus.

“I only have the SA Open and Alfred Dunhill left to play. I’m lying 92nd on the order of merit and I need to qualify and make the cuts to stay inside the top 100 and keep my card. That’s why I set myself the goal of winning this IGT Race to Q-School event and set myself the other goals. This win gives me a lot of confidence, especially after this final round.”

FINAL RESULT

All competitors RSA unless otherwise indicated; amateurs = (AM)

199 – CJ du Plessis 64 65 70

203 – Johan de Beer 64 72 67

205 – Rae Mackie 68 68 69

207 – Brett Liddle 66 70 71, Ryan Clarke 67 68 72

208 – Drikus Bruyns 68 69 71

209 – Pieter Kruger 71 68 70

210 – Cilliers Naude 71 70 69, Brendan De Lange 72 68 70, Herman Minnie 71 68 71, Deon Bredenkamp 68 70 72, Wayne Stroebel 71 67 72

211 – Andrew Light (AM) 68 71 72, Lean Boezaart 67 69 75

213 – Otto van Greunen 68 74 71, Iliska Verwey 71 70 72, Jaco Mouton 73 68 72, Romano Saincic 70 67 76

214 – TJ Bekker 71 71 72, Jonathan Waschefort 72 71 71, Coert Groenewald 70 71 73, Tyron Mc Comb 75 66 73

215 – Bonita Bredenhann 70 72 73, Daniel Hammond 73 71 71, Conway Kunneke (AM) 71 73 71, Sarel Van der Walt 72 69 74, Niel Meyer (AM) 70 70 75

216 – Lukas Steyn (AM) 71 71 74, Jerry Steyn 71 72 73, Graeme Vrugtman (AM) 72 73 71, Andi Dill (AM) 72 76 68

217 – Eduard Van Den Berg (AM) 72 70 75, Rob Menzies 70 71 76, Kerwin Marais 76 69 72, Gideon Pienaar 73 73 71, Jaco Prinsloo 74 73 70

218 – Raymond Mathonsi 72 70 76

219 – Keegan Steyn (AM) 72 74 73, Dougie Meijer 72 75 72

220 – Bryandrew Roelofsz 72 72 76

221 – James Searson 73 74 74

222 – Mike Maile 74 70 78, Dean Geyer 74 71 77, Pierre Viviers 70 75 77, Ted Hendriks 73 75 74, Jaryd Wagner 74 74 74, Eugene van Loggerenberg 71 77 74, Gavin Miles 69 79 74

223 – Nathan Waghorn 69 75 79, Ruan Huysamen 73 73 77

225 – David Lamprecht (AM) 71 77 77

226 – Jacques Prinsloo 77 69 80

230 – Carlos Arroyo (AM) 76 72 82

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