22nd January 2019 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Lawrence leads by three at IGT Silver Lakes

Lawrence leads by three at IGT Silver Lakes

PRETORIA, 22 January 2019 – Sunshine Tour rookie Thriston Lawrence will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the IGT Challenge Tour Race to Q-School #2 after an excellent 66 on day two at the Silver Lakes Golf Estate.

The Nelspruit golfer began Tuesday’s second round in a tie for the lead after an opening seven-under 65, but a bogey-free round netted him the sole lead on 13-under.

Teaghan Gauche matched his 66 and two-time Sunshine Tour winner JC Ritchie carded 68 to share second.

Sunshine Tour campaigners Wynand Dingle and CJ du Plessis are a shot adrift after respective rounds of 67 and 68, while MacKenzie Tour campaigner Christof Appel kept in touch with a 70 to finish at eight-under.

With the Sunshine Tour resuming its 2018/2019 schedule in nine days, Lawrence was pleased with a bogey-free run through 36 holes.

“I’m driving the ball really well, but I didn’t play a lot of golf during the break and I’m not on point yet with the shorter irons,” he said. “It’s been two solid rounds tee to green. Hopefully I get a bit more rust off tomorrow and hit them a little closer in the final round.”

Lawrence birdied the two par fives in his outward loop – 14 and 18 – and followed an eagle three at the second with a brace of birdies at six and seven.

“I hit a great drive on two and 5-iron to the green, but I didn’t catch the slope and the ball rolled off the right,” he said. “I chipped in from about 10 metres for the eagle.

“At the par four, I hit another good drive down the middle and sand-wedge to eight feet. And I made a standard two-putt birdie at the par five after a solid drive and a lob-wedge in. It’s really great to be in contention with the Eye of Africa PGA Championship coming up. I’m looking forward to the final round and playing under a bit of pressure.”

Lawrence, a two-time winner on the country’s premier development circuit, won the Final Stage of the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School last year, but it’s been a topsy-turvy first season for the former two-time SA Amateur champion.

He banked cheques in 11 of his 18 starts and climbed to 80th in the Order of Merit, but a good performance at the Eye of Africa Signature Golf Estate will give him a much needed boost.

“A number of international players will fall off the Order of Merit at the end of season because they haven’t played the required amount of events, so I am probably closer to the top 60,” Lawrence said. “It would be even better with a decent start in the Eye of Africa. I played last year, but I struggled with the putter and I missed the cut. This year I have to make the most of my start.

“I like the course, because it places a premium on tee shots and driving is the strongest part of the game. If I can sharpen up the shorter irons, I’ll be in good shape for the championship.

“But first I’m hope to finish the week bogey-free and leave Silver Lakes with a trophy. There are quite a few Sunshine Tour pros in the mix, and JC and Teaghan will guaranteed also be gunning for a win. It should be an exciting final round.”

Joint overnight leader Ruan Conradie made a triple bogey at the 18th and slipped to four-under after signing for a 75. He shares 10th with last week’s Race to Q-School #1 winner Albert Venter, Jaco Prinsloo, Breyten Meyer, Jade Buitendag and Gary Player School of 2018 member Heinrich Bruiners.

Second Round Scores

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA

131 – Thriston Lawrence 65 66

134 – JC Ritchie 66 68, Teaghan Gauche 68 66

135 – Wynand Dingle 68 67, CJ du Plessis 67 68

136 – Christof Appel 66 70

138 – Richard Joubert 70 68, Bradley Diggeden AMA 69 69

139 – Kyle Barker 67 72

140 – Albert Venter 67 73, Jaco Prinsloo 70 70, Breyten Meyer 72 68, Heinrich Bruiners 70 70, Jade Buitendag 69 71, Ruan Conradie 65 75

141 – Jonathan Waschefort 71 70, Toto Thimba Jnr 70 71, Donovan Liddicoat AMA 71 70, Divan Marais 70 71, Fredrik From (SWE) 71 70, Louis Albertse 68 73

142 – Clinton Grobler 71 71, Michiel Bothma 69 73

143 – Emilio Pera AMA 71 72, Jason Diab 74 69, Jason Rossiter 74 69, Hanlo Jacobs 74 69, Gideon van der Vyver 71 72

144 – Kyle McClatchie 74 70, Zabastian de Jager 68 76, Jabulane Mabilane 70 74, Reinhardt Blaauw AMA 78 66

145 – Paul Rodrigues AMA 73 72, Conner Mackenzie AMA 72 73, Darin de Smidt AMA 73 72, Theunis Bezuidenhout 68 77, James Mack (ENG) 73 72, Altaaf Bux 72 73, Tristen Strydom 73 72, Jack Duthie 75 70

146 – Gareth Sargent AMA 74 72, Irvin Mazibuko 72 74, Zander Gous AMA 69 77, Patric Dowling AMA 76 70, Clayton Mansfield AMA 73 73, Paulo Serrao (POR) 71 75

147 – Thabang Simon 75 72

148 – Christian Basson AMA 73 75, Hanish Nagrani (ZIM) 76 72, Michael-James Steyn 72 76, Omar Sandys 74 74, Ruhan van Dijk 76 72, Marthin Scheepers 75 73, Quintin Crause 74 74, Duane Keun 79 69, Ruan Korb 75 73

Missed the cut:-

149 – Makhetha Mazibuko 75 74, Maritz Wessels 77 72, Andi Dill 75 74, Werner Deyzel AMA 79 70, Neal Woernhard (SUI) 77 72, Wayne Stroebel 74 75, Oliver Tubb (CAN) 73 76, Matthew Hands AMA 73 76, Andrew Plint AMA 74 75

150 – Elmo Barnard AMA 79 71, Christopher van der Merwe AMA 75 75, Tyron Taylor AMA 72 78, Derick Petersen 77 73

151 – Warric Dyers 78 73, Michael Saunders (ENG) 78 73, Blain Sansom 81 70, Louis Calitz 74 77, Andrew Carlsson 74 77, Kevin Berger (GER) 78 73, Alex Pienaar AMA 79 72, Jaco van der Merwe AMA 74 77

152 – David Rebelo 73 79, Gary Daoust (BEL) 78 74, Angus Ellis-Cole AMA 75 77

153 – Jay Dean Fourie 75 78, Keanu Pestana AMA 73 80, Nicol Kromhout AMA 79 74, Richard Spagnolo AMA 74 79, Jancarel Rossouw AMA 76 77, Marnus Barnard AMA 82 71, WM Coetzee AMA 75 78, Cody White (CAN) 76 77, Stephan Erasmus 75 78, Carlo Heunis AMA 83 70

154 – Ricardo Towell 77 77, Dwayne Basson 80 74, Allister de Kock 77 77

155 – Kelsey Nicholas 80 75, Thabo Moraba 75 80

156 – Luke Kelly 85 71, Deon Bredenkamp 74 82, Allan Jirek AMA (CZE) 74 82

157 – Jan-Louis Nel AMA 75 82, Christopher Scheppel AMA 75 82

158 – Ruan Groenewald 77 81, Ray Janse van Rensburg AMA 80 78

159 – Divan de Villiers 82 77, Alwyn Smith 77 82, Byron Fichardt AMA 80 79

160 – Xander Prinsloo AMA 79 81, Idrees Saban AMA 75 85

161 – Lance Ellerbeck AMA 80 81

164 – Marcus Smal AMA 84 80

165 – Francois Nel AMA 84 81

166 – Chiara Contomathios 85 81

168 – Henning du Plooy AMA 78 90, Dwayne Mitchell AMA 81 87

172 – Hermanus Prinsloo AMA 88 84

179 – Phumlani Maluka 88 91

WDN – Igor Milicic (SRB) 80 WDN, Duan Nagel AMA 80 WDN, MJ Viljoen 80 WDN

N/R – Hanro Booysen 91 N/R, Louis Botha 77 N/R

RTD – Dean Du Plessis AMA 86 RTD

PHOTO – Thriston Lawrence; credit CJ du Plooy.

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the IGT Challenge Tour.

Latest Big Easy IGT Golf News