7th November 2017 | Big Easy IGT Golf
Geerts lowest of the low at Centurion
(PHOTO – Philip Geerts; credit CJ du Plooy)
TSHWANE, 7 November 2017 – The second round leaderboard at Centurion Country Club was awash with red numbers, but a seven-under-par 65 moved Philip Geerts from Italy to the top of the pile in the fifth Race to Q-School on Tuesday.
On a day when a total of 30 players broke par, Geerts backed up an eagle start at the par five first with half-a-dozen birdies to lead the way at nine-under 135.
“There are at least 12 players are within five shots of my lead and they are still very much in contention,” said Geerts. “They won’t give it to me. I will come out with the same strategy and play aggressively and hopefully it will land me my first IGT Challenge Tour win.”
Seasoned campaigner Pieter Kruger went round in 67 strokes to lead the chasing pack at eight under and current Race to Q-School leader Estiaan Conradie also carded a 67 to finish a further stroke back.
Conway Kunneke and Ruan Conradie posted respective rounds of 68 and 67 to finish within three shots of the lead, while a 65 from Paul Boshoff and a 66 from Toto Thimba Junior moved the duo into joint sixth at five under alongside Clinton Grobler (70) and Teboho Sefatsa (69).
After the eagle start for a second successive day, Geerts bogeyed the third when he failed to get up-and-down from the bunker, but he recovered the shot with a birdie at five. Further gains at seven, 10 and 11 moved him to five under.
“I hit a lot of really great tee shots and mostly had short irons or wedges in,” he said. “My irons and the putter was really hot over the first 11 holes, but unfortunately I didn’t make the most of my birdie chances at the two par fives on the back nine.
“I hit another great drive down 14 and a 58-degree wedge from 72 metres to give. Then I almost holed out again at 17. I made my seventh ace in tournament golf there yesterday with a gap-wedge from 130 metres. Today I had the same wind and the same club and the hole playing 133 metres. I hit it right next to the hole and tapped-in for the last birdie.
“I really like the way they have changed the layout of the course this week. We are playing the 16th and 17th holes as eight and nine, and the closing holes are the eighth and the ninth holes, so it makes for a very exciting finish.”
Geerts made a strong start to the 18-event Race to Q-School series with a tie for second at Ruimsig and joint fourth in Germiston last week.
“Although I am into final stage also for the Alps Tour Q-School, my dream has always to compete on the Sunshine Tour,” he said. “I’m really happy with the way my Race to Q-School is going. My goal this season is to finish the Race to Q-School Series in the top 10 so I will be exempt for the Final Stage. It was a really solid two days, but the going will be tough in the final round. But who knows, maybe it will be my turn to lift the trophy.”