11th June 2018 | Big Easy IGT Golf
IGT grads share Irene lead
IGT grads share Irene lead
(Thriston Lawrence and Ruan Korb; credit CJ du Plooy)
TSHWANE, 11 June 2018 – Sunshine Tour Qualifying School winner Thriston Lawrence fired a seven-under-par 65 in the opening round at Irene Country Club, but Pretoria rookie Ruan Korb denied him the outright lead in the sixth IGT Challenge Tour event on Monday.
Lawrence fired an eagle and seven birdies to set the clubhouse target among the early starters, but Korb grabbed a share of pole position with a birdie at the closing hole in the late afternoon.
Dylan Kok and amateur Armand van Dyk are two shots adrift, while Gary Player School of 2018 quartet Dwayne Basson, Derick Petersen, Teboho Sefatsa and Irvin Mazibuko finished in a tie for fifth at four-under with Luke Brown and amateurs Caylum Boon and Liam Labuschagne.
Lawrence, who missed the cut in the Sun City Challenge, was happy to return to the IGT Challenge Tour to polish his game.
“It’s really great to have the IGT to fall back on during the breaks,” said Lawrence. “I thought the Gary Player would suit me well because of my strong long game, but I never got comfortable. The greens were incredibly firm and fast and I kept missing on the wrong side. You can’t score that way.
“The standard on the Sunshine Tour keeps improving. The cut keeps getting lower. So it’s really important to stay competitive, especially for the rookies. We can’t afford to take a month off. Coming back to the IGT makes sense.”
The 21-year-old former two-time Sanlam SA Amateur champion hit the first green in two and boxed an eight-footer to get his campaign underway. “It was bitterly cold, and the ball wasn’t travelling far yet, so I didn’t want to chance going for the green in two,” said Lawrence. “I laid up and hit my third to eight foot and boxed the putt for birdie. Nice way to start the round.”
After another gain at six, the Nelspruit golfer eagled the ninth to turn five under.
“I hit a great drive down 10 and had a 7-iron to 12 foot and made the putt,” he said. “I made two more birdies at 12 and 14 and backed myself to make a few more down the last three holes, but I four-putted 16 for a double bogey. The first putt was about 40 feet and I lagged it to six feet. The ball turned away at the hole and I missed the return after I allowed for it turn and it went dead-straight.
“It was nice to finish birdie-birdie after the double. I have been playing well recently and it was nice to have a solid round today and to see some putts drop. Still two rounds left to go, but I’m happy to be in a strong position after day one.”
Korb had just one drop on his card. Ironically, also at a short hole.
“I hit 9-iron into four, lagged the first putt close, but missed the par putt,” he said. “I missed a four-footer at 16 and a two-footer at 17 for birdies and I only birdied two of the par fives, which always hurts a little. But otherwise the game was solid and overall my short game was really good.”
The sixth event on the country’s premier golf development circuit has drawn a record field of 132 players and boasts a purse of R50 000, the biggest of the season.
Korb has moved to second in the Road to the Sunshine Tour after four Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour starts and was stunned to see such a big field. “I only decided to play on Sunday morning and I was pleasantly surprised to see such a big field,” said the Wingate Park golfer.
“I missed my card by one shot, so the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour is a real life-line. There is a lot of jostling for those 10 cards to the Sunshine Tour and that’s why I decided to play. I need to stay competitive to make sure I stay in the top 10.
“It’s fantastic to have such a big field and great to have some Sunshine Tour players in the field. It raises the level of competition even more and that means we raise our games, too.”
First Round Scores
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA
65 – Thriston Lawrence, Ruan Korb
67 – Dylan Kok, Armand van Dyk AMA
68 – Liam Labuschagne AMA, Luke Brown, Derick Petersen, Teboho Sefatsa, Dwayne Basson, Caylum Boon AMA, Irvin Mazibuko
69 – Joshua Smedema AMA, Gerhard Pepler AMA, Ruan Groenewald, Stals Swart AMA, Allister de Kock, Keegan Mclachlan AMA, Tertius Van Den Berg, Paul Boshoff
70 – Jacquin Hess, Franklin Manchest, Karabo Mokoena AMA, Jason Smith, Otto van Buynder AMA, Divan Marais, Stefan Wears-Taylor
71 – Jaco van der Merwe AMA, Chase Paton AMA, Ivanna Samu, Clinton Grobler, Christopher van der Merwe AMA, Keanu Pestana AMA, Marcus Smal AMA, Richard Maree, JP Cooper AMA, Leon Visser, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Breyten Meyer, Thabang Simon, Aneurin Gounden AMA, Matthew Rossouw AMA
72 – Tyron Taylor AMA, Michiel Bothma, Peetie van der Merwe, Ruan Conradie, Conway Kunneke, Jason Diab, Michael Kok
73 – Arno Pretorius, Jay Dean Fourie, Dean du Plessis AMA, Michael van Rooyen, Omar Sandys, Cameron Moralee, Leon Vorster, CJ Levey
74 – Leon van der Walt AMA, Mandla Jnr Dlamini AMA, Ivan Mare AMA, Gilson Filho (BRA), Lejan Lewthwaite, Marco de Beer, Quintin Crause, Marnus Barnard AMA, Matthew Hands AMA, Nicholas Souranis AMA, Jason Roets, Rupert Kaminski AMA, Heinrich Bruiners, Makhetha Mazibuko
75 – Landon Ferguson AMA, Karl Lehmacher AMA, Samual McKenzie AMA, David Rebelo, Jan-Louis Nel AMA, Maverick Faber AMA (FRA), Gianni Pera AMA, Paul Rodrigues AMA, Neal Herman, Keelan Africa, Blain Sansom, Willie Olivier AMA, Stuart Smith (BOT), Andrew Plint AMA, August Pienaar AMA
76 – Edwin Stafford AMA, Gary Daoust (BEL), Chandler Shaw AMA, Andrew Carlsson, Jesse Jacobs AMA
77 – Eric Wower AMA, Divan de Villiers, Reece McKain AMA, WM Coetzee AMA, Scott Chambers, Patric Dowling AMA, Hanko Bothma, Zabastian de Jager, Hendrikus Stoop
78 – Morne van der Waltsleben AMA, Sipho Bujela
79 – Jabulane Mabilane, Adam Baker, Dominique Jacobs, Thabiso Ngcobo, Stephan Erasmus, Neville Mitchell AMA, Matthew Kiewitz AMA, Nicholaus Frade AMA, Donald Makhafola AMA, Francois Blaauw AMA
80 – Terence Archibald AMA, Terry Smith, Jonathan George AMA
81 – Vickus Fleischman AMA, Shaydon Johnson AMA, Henning Stander AMA, Guillaume Bernier AMA (FRA), Christiaan Pretorius
82 – Christopher de Beer, Henning du Plooy AMA, Fezekile Kana
83 – Gareth Sargent AMA, Leslie Grandet (MDG)
84 – Bryce Webel AMA
85 – Cameron Borcher AMA, Christiaan Greyling, Jabu Radebe, Alwyn Smith
88 – Andre de Jager AMA
96 – Dylan Morton AMA
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the IGT Challenge Tour.