7th April 2014 | Big Easy IGT Golf

KZN’s Van der Spuy in touch at IGT Modderfontein

KZN’s Van der Spuy in touch at IGT Modderfontein

KZN’s Van der Spuy in touch at IGT Modderfontein

(PHOTO – Rourke van der Spuy; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 7 April 2014 – KwaZulu-Natal’s Rourke van der Spuy reeled in four birdies and an eagle to finish within striking distance of pacesetter, Werner van Niekerk from Pretoria, in the first round of the IGT Series Modderfontein on Monday.

The Bluff golfer posted a 68 to finish two shots behind Van Niekerk, who notched seven birdies against a lone drop to set the target at six-under-par 66.

Van der Spuy shares second with amateur Werner van Wyk and Huyn Park from Korea, who navigated the 6,651 meter layout at Modderfontein Golf Club in flawless fashion.

The trio, in turn, are two shots clear of the quintet on 70 that includes Hanbo Lee, Tyron McComb, Italian amateur Philip Geerts, Otto van Greunen and Coert Groenewald.

Van Niekerk and Van der Spuy are both recent graduates turned pro.

However, while the Pretoria golfer only turned pro in January after gaining a BSc Construction Management degree from the University of Pretoria last year, Van der Spuy graduated from Columbus State University in Ohio six months earlier.

He spent the last six months of 2013 campaigning on mini-tours in the United States after. The 24-year-old Bluff golfer tried to qualify for the Web.Com Tour. He made some inroads by winning the First Stage and getting past the Second Stage of the Three Stage Qualifying School.

“I was knocked out at the Final Stage, so I came home and tried for a card at the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School,” he said. “I had two rubbish rounds and was cut, so I asked around and the guys told me to play the IGT Pro Tour.”

Van der Spuy began campaigning on the country’s premier development Tour at the IGT Tour Ruimsig, where he tied for third. He was thoroughly pleased to be in a strong position in his sixth start.

“I really wanted to stay competitive before I return to the States at the end of April,” Van der Spuy said. “The IGT Tour is very well run and it compares extremely well to the two Tours I played in the United States, the Hopkins Tour in Georgia and the Emerald Coast Tour in Florida.

“The standard is high and the set-up it great. I especially enjoyed it when the Sunshine Tour pros joined us for a couple of tournaments last month, because that really fired everyone up.”

After a tie for third at Ruimsig and a joint ninth finish at the IGT Series Silver Lakes, Van der Spuy would love to leave for the United States with one of the unique Eagle Trophies.

“A top five finish will be great from a consistency point of view, but I’d love to win this week before I head back to the States,” he said.

FIRST ROUND SCORES

66 – Werner Van Niekerk

68 – Rourke Van der Spuy, Hyun Park KOR, Werner Van Wyk (AMA)

70 – Coert Groenewald, Hanbo Lee, Tyron Mc Comb, Philip Geerts ITA (AMA), Otto van Greunen

71 – Slade Fick (AMA), Ted Hendriks, Antonio Rosado POR, Rhoan Gardiner, Graham van den Berg (AMA), Brandon Taylor USA, Pierre Viviers, Michael Van Hoeck (AMA), Lean Boezaart

72 – Ryan Gosling, Peter Wilson ENG, Johan de Beer

73 – Keegan Steyn (AMA), Ryan Clarke, Hano van der Walt, Dylan de Beer, Jerry Steyn, Christiaan Pretorius

74 – Houston Harwood (AMA), Dwayne Coetzee, Wayne du Toit, Herman Minnie, Tudor Bismark (AMA)

75 – Murray Smit, Ruan van Blerk NAM, Russel Franz (AMA), Pieter Van der Linde (AMA)

76 – Thomas Lovett, Lydon Charnely (AMA)

77 – Brett Cocking (AMA), Matthew Kiewitz (AMA), Gareth Akers (AMA)

78 – Rob Menzies ENG, Mohit Mediratta (AMA), David Lamprecht (AMA), Chris Ha Yeung (AMA)

79 – Niel Meyer (AMA), Francesca Cuturi, Alwyn Vorster, Stephan Erasmus (AMA)

80 – Michael Petersen (AMA), Lucas Steyn, Wayde Mostert

81 – Eduard Van Den Berg (AMA), Michael Jooste (AMA), Julian de Wet (AMA), Jacqui Akers (AMA)

82 – Lloyd Herbst (AMA)

85 – Ryan Kuhn (AMA)

86 – Russell Jaques ENG (AMA)

89 – Damian Roos (AMA)

WDN – Mark Fraser

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