25th February 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Invincible Palmer pounces at Ruimsig

2015SSRuimsig_MichaelPalmer_Trophy(Photo – Michael Palmer; credit CJ du Plooy)

ROODEPOORT, 25 February 2015 – Michael Palmer pledged his first winner’s cheque to the Jeandre Fourie Fund just minutes after he drained a birdie putt at the 18th to put the seal on a spectacular maiden win in the IGT Tour’s Jeandre Fourie Classic at Ruimsig Country Club on Wednesday.

The overnight leader produced a flawless final round eight-under-par 64 to claim a seven stroke victory in a wire-to-wire performance.

Palmer’s winning total of 19-under-par 197 also equalled the 54-hole record, set by Sunshine Tour professional Michael Anthony in the season’s first Summer Swing event at Centurion Country Club just two weeks ago.

The Oklahoma City University graduate enjoyed the moment, but immediately turned his attention to the player at the centre of the tournament.

“This week has been about Jeandre Fourie, the young player who broke his back on the weekend in a freak zip-line accident,” Palmer said.

“He went under the knife on Tuesday and the prognosis is very good. Like so many of us on Tour, though, Jeandre doesn’t have medical aid. The bill for the surgery alone is estimated at half-a-million rand and he has a long road ahead to recovery.

“The bills will add up, so the IGT Tour organisers sold ribbons and did some other things to help raise funds for Jeandre.

“Everyone who finished in the money this week pledged five percent of their earnings. When I think about what lies ahead for this guy, my R8,000 cheque is just a drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps. I’m really grateful that I am in a position to donate my winnings to the fund.”

Palmer took pole position with an opening six under 66 to and added a 67 to lead by two strokes from amateur David Ashley heading into the final round.

The ice-cool 25-year-old, who dropped just two strokes in 36 holes, remained unshakeable and produced the kind of disciplined golf that marked his progress in the first two rounds.

Showing his steel, Palmer reeled in four birdies on each nine in his march to victory, but didn’t add to his deficit. The young gun was thrilled to notch his first victory in his only third start on the IGT Tour and hopes this will set the tone for the rest of his season as he prepares to take his game to the next level.

“I’m really pleased that I played so well this week,” Palmer said. “My ball striking was really consistent and I hardly missed any greens. That gave me a lot of opportunities and I knuckled down.

“It was all down to how I set myself up at each hole and seeing the putts drop.

“You grow up quick out here and that was the main reason I came home. It’s been a good process so far and hopefully I can keep going.”

Ashley, meanwhile, closed with a 69 to take sole second on 12 under, while Naithen Moore, Bryn Flanagan and Conway Kunneke shared third on eight under 208.

FINAL RESULT

197 – Michael Palmer (RSA) 66 67 64

204 – David Ashley (AM) (RSA) 69 66 69

208 – Naithen Moore (RSA) 70 71 67, Bryn Flanagan (RSA) 70 71 67, Conway Kunneke (RSA) 72 67 69

209 – Duane Keun (RSA) 69 70 70

211 – Cliff Howes (RSA) 74 69 68, Herman Minnie (RSA) 75 68 68, Gareth Akers (AM) (RSA) 71 70 70

213 – Danie Pretorius (RSA) 71 73 69, Christiaan Pretorius (RSA) 75 69 69

214 – Gideon Pienaar (RSA) 74 69 71, Simon Kruger (AM) (RSA) 68 75 71

215 – Phillip Kruse (AM) (RSA) 75 72 68, Matthew Kiewitz (AM) (RSA) 72 75 68

216 – Matthew Adams (AM) (RSA) 76 71 69

217 – Carlos Arroyo (AM) (RSA) 73 77 67, Arno Bartholoma (GER) 74 72 71

218 – Christopher Van der Merwe (AM) (RSA) 75 72 71

219 – Wayne Stroebel (RSA) 72 73 74, TJ Bekker (RSA) 76 67 76

220 – Brad Diffenthal (RSA) 75 71 74, CJ Levey (AM) (RSA) 71 75 74

221 – Niel Meyer (RSA) 72 77 72

222 – Jason Diab (RSA) 76 72 74, Jacques de Villiers (RSA) 80 74 68

224 – Dwayne Coetzee (RSA) 76 74 74, Siphiwe Siphayi (AM) (RSA) 75 77 72

225 – Joubert Van Eeden (AM) (RSA) 76 73 76, Shaun van Tonder (RSA) 79 70 76, Dylan O’Leary (RSA) 75 74 76, Pierre Viviers (RSA) 75 77 73, Neal Hauptfleisch (AM) (RSA) 79 76 70

226 – Tung- nan Lin (AM) (TWN) 75 72 79, Craig Dreyer (RSA) 77 74 75

227 – Werner Lourens (AM) (RSA) 79 75 73, Rhoan Gardiner (RSA) 81 75 71

228 – Marc Van Deventer (AM) (RSA) 77 74 77, Lourens Du Plessis (RSA) 75 77 76, Ryan Wingrove (AM) (RSA) 77 75 76, Wianco Cronje (AM) (RSA) 81 76 71

229 – Justin Levy (NLD) 79 75 75, Derryn Mitri (AM) (RSA) 80 76 73

230 – Daniel Joubert (AM) (RSA) 74 79 77

232 – Hanbo Lee (RSA) 72 78 82, Devan Payne (AM) (RSA) 80 76 76, Matthew Vogel (RSA) 78 79 75

234 – Jason Ackerman (AM) (RSA) 77 79 78, Paul Cuningham (RSA) 78 79 77, Duan Nagel (AM) (RSA) 80 77 77

WDN – Pedro August (RSA) 75 80 WDN

NOTE: Donations for Jeandre Fourie can be made to the IGT Tour:

IGTGolf

First National Bank / Cheque Account

Account Number: 62298177893 / Branch code: 251141

Swift code: FIRNZAJJ

Paypal; admin@igtgolf.org

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