5th September 2017 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Korb and Roets rally for Better Ball lead

(PHOTO – Ruan Korb, Jason Roets, Christopher van der Merwe and Dylan Kok; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSHWANE, 5 September 2017 – Two-time IGT Challenge Tour winner Jason Roets and Ruan Korb set Zwartkop Country Club alight to grab a share of the second round lead with Pretoria pair Dylan Kok and Christopher van der Merwe in the Zwartkop Better Ball on Tuesday.

Joint overnight leaders Kok and Van der Merwe racked up six birdies and an eagle on the back nine to remain at the top of the pile with an impressive 59, but Roets and Korb blistered the par-71 layout in 57 strokes to grab a share of the lead at 22 under.

Bennie van der Merwe and Kyle Lucas, who shared the overnight lead, are just one off the pace after combining for 60, while brothers Estiaan and Ruan Conradie moved within striking distance at 20 under with a strong 59.

Pretoria amateurs Richard Joubert and Etienne Janse van Rensburg improved three shots on their first round 63 to move into fifth at 19 under, while Aaron Luchtenburg and Morne du Plessis – who shared the first round lead on 61 – slipped to sixth after a round of 63.

Roets and Korb lagged two off the pace at the start of day two.

The pair burst from the blocks with five birdies on the trot and kept the momentum going with a pair of birdies around the turn. A brace of eagles and three further gains moved them straight to the top.

“The format for the second round was scrambled drive and we really made the most of the format to give ourselves chances to score,” said 24-year-old Korb from Silver Lakes. “Whenever one of us had a decent lie or a good shot in, we took advantage and it paid off again and again.”
Roets from Eye of Africa came into the week with hot form, having won his second IGT Challenge Tour title this season in last week’s Ruimsig Challenge.

“I didn’t have a partner for the Better Ball and a mate of mine, Maritz Wessels, told me he knew Jason didn’t have a partner either, so I asked Jason if we could team up,” said Korb. “I might owe Maritz if we go on to win on Wednesday.”
Korb said a bit of solid dovetailing gave the pair the start they wanted.

“Jason just missed a birdie chance at the first, but I got a good read off his line and holed my birdie putt,” said Korb. “I sunk a seven-footer for birdie at the second. At the short hole, I drove the bunker and Jason missed the green right. I took his lie in the semi-rough and chipped it in for another birdie.

“The tees at the fourth were forward and we both hit three-woods off the tee and nine-irons in. Jason went first and gave me another great line for our fourth birdie and rolled his birdie putt in at the fifth to take us to five under.”

The pair split the profits on the back nine, but Korb said he missed the chance to make it a 56.

“I hit my drive six feet behind the hole at 13 and holed the eagle putt,” he said. “I chipped in at 15 for a birdie and Jason chipped in for eagle at 16. Unfortunately I missed a five-foot eagle chance at 18.

“We’ve never played together in a tournament before and that’s perhaps why we dovetailed so well. We both played our own games and we helped each other with lines. It was such fun to shoot a record round and let’s just hope we can do it again in the final round.”

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