10th March 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

IGT Tour’s Palmer targets back-to-back victories

(HPark9-11MarDay1 (129)Photo – Michael Palmer)

JOHANNESBURG, 10 March 2015 – Bryanston professional Michael Palmer produced a solid effort at Huddle Park Golf Club to take the second round lead in the IGT Tour’s first TGSE Academy Classic on Tuesday.

Just two weeks since his maiden IGT Tour win at the Jeandre Fourie Classic, Palmer carded a one-under-par 69 to edge one stroke clear of the chasing pack on five under 135.

Conway Kunneke matched Palmer’s 69 to tie for second with GFG Academy player David Ashley, who vaulted into contention with a 67.

Former IGT Tour winner Bryn Flanagan reeled in four birdies on the trot from the 12th on his way to a flawless 65 and a share of fourth with overnight leader Devan Payne (73), Danie Pretorius (70), Duane Keun (68) and Herman Minnie (70).

Back in South Africa after a six year stint at the Oklahoma City University, Palmer secured a Big Easy card in the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School in January.

The Business Finance and Economics graduate issued a stern warning to his fellow IGT Tour campaigners when he claimed a wire-to-wire victory at Ruimsig Country Club.

Palmer hopes to go two-for-two, but a lot will depend on the how the greens at Huddle Park treat him in the final round.

“I’m happy to be leading, but I have to admit, it was a bit of a struggle,” Palmer said. “I didn’t have a problem hitting the greens, but I had a hard time holing putts for birdies.

“The greens are rolling really well, but I just can’t seem to get a good read on the lines.”

Palmer sunk a two-footer for birdie at the par-four second, but surrendered the gain immediately with a four when he missed a return putt for par at the next hole.

He knocked in an eight-footer for birdie at the par-four fifth, but lost the advantage at the ninth when his approach ended against the back lip of the greenside bunker.

“I got too cute with the trap shot, left the ball in the bunker and paid the price,” Palmer explained.

“I made a string of pars until the 17th, when I pitched it three feet from the pin and holed the putt for another birdie.

“I think it’s going to be a real battle on Wednesday. David had a great round today and we’ve gone head-to-head before and Bryn also made a big move.

“I think it’s going to be pretty tight coming down the stretch.”

Shaun van Tonder from the host academy, The Golf School of Excellence, will start the final round in a tie for 20th after a second round 73, however, Paul Cuningham (71, 78) and Mauritian amateurs Christopher Hardy (76, 81) and Loic Csizmadia (79, 79) missed the cut, set at seven over 147.

SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD

135 – Michael Palmer 66 69

136 – Conway Kunneke 67 69, David Ashley AMA 69 67

137 – Devan Payne AMA 64 73, Danie Pretorius 67 70, Bryn Flanagan 72 65, Duane Keun 69 68, Herman Minnie 67 70

138 – Simon Kruger AMA 73 65, Jason Froneman AMA 71 67

139 – Johan Van Der Wath AMA 71 68, Hilton Hughes AMA 70 69

140 – Stephan Erasmus AMA 70 70, TJ Bekker 70 70

141 – Ruan Korb AMA 70 71, Christian Olivier AMA 70 71, Bartjie De Klerk AMA 72 69, CJ Levey AMA 74 67, Niel Meyer 67 74

142 – Justin Levy (NLD) 70 72, Shaun van Tonder 69 73, Michael Van Hoeck AMA (BEL) 73 69, Christiaan Pretorius 76 66

143 – Joubert Van Eeden AMA 74 69, Christopher De Beer AMA 73 70

144 – Dougie Meijer 71 73, Kyle Lee 67 77, Gideon Pienaar 74 70

145 – Matthew Vogel 73 72, Wayne Stroebel 71 74, Michael Kok AMA 71 74, Shane Heckler AMA 77 68, Carlos Arroyo AMA 71 74

146 – Michael Armstrong AMA 73 73, Duan Nagel AMA 75 71

147 – Matthew Adams AMA 75 72, David Lamprecht 71 76, Zander Potgieter AMA 75 72, Jason Ackerman AMA 78 69, Lourens Du Plessis 76 71

Missed the cut:-

148 – Pedro August 73 75

149 – Paul Cuningham 71 78, Ryan Wingrove AMA 72 77, Fouche Botha AMA 77 72, Rhoan Gardiner 73 76, Michael Jooste AMA 73 76

151 – Shingirirayi Shumba (ZIM) 70 81, Gerard van Zyl AMA 80 71

152 – Etzard Grimbeek AMA 79 73, Mitchell Lightfoot AMA 75 77, Quintin Crause AMA 73 79

153 – Tung- nan Lin AMA (TWN) 77 76

155 – Werner Lourens AMA 75 80, Mohammed Ismail AMA 84 71, Keanan Aysen AMA 80 75, Cole Dodgen AMA 78 77

156 – Juan De Bruin AMA 79 77, Marais Visagie 74 82

157 – Christopher Hardy AMA (MUS) 76 81, David Marks AMA 80 77

158 – Loic Csizmadia AMA (MUS) 79 79

159 – Cameron Gunning 75 84

160 – PG Van der Linde 82 78, Sean Graham AMA 82 78

165 – Zarko Fabricius AMA 79 86

170 – Tommie Brits AMA 87 83

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