24th April 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Levey takes wire-to-wire win at Pro Squad Classic

Centurion21-23AprDay3 (121)(CJ Levey; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSWANE, 23 April 2015 – Unheralded amateur CJ Levey stole the thunder on former top SA amateur Christiaan Bezuidenhout to land his maiden IGT Tour title with an outstanding wire-to-wire performance in the Pro Squad Classic on Thursday.

The pint-sized Pretoria golfer fired rounds of 64, 70 and 69 to claim a one stroke victory on 13-under par 203 at Centurion Country Club, denying a charging Bezuidenhout, who took second with a four under 68.

Levey’s cousin and fellow amateur David Ashley registered a 68 to edge out professionals NJ Arnoldi (72) and Gideon Pienaar (68) for third on 11 under.

Levey only began playing golf seriously six years ago. He was not expecting to win four months into his first full season on the country’s premier development Tour, but the victory was on after he hit the front with a superb eight-under-par 64 in the first round.

The 23-year-old credited a character-building second round 70 for the confidence to go the distance in the final round at his home course.

“That second round tested me on so many levels,” the Pro Squad player said. “It was the first time I ever led and I had to deal with that pressure.

“My putter was stone cold, so I had to talk to myself a few times. It was hard not to get frustrated and to revert to bad habits, but I just told myself to stick to the process that my coach, Andre Louw, has been drilling into me.

“It’s not easy when the putts don’t drop, but I got through the second round with my lead intact. That’s when I knew I could win this.”

Levey started the final round with a one shot lead over Arnoldi and amateur Rosswell Sinclair and two clear of Bezuidenhout, already a winner in the IGT Tour’s Academy Challenge Series.

He disturbed a front nine of straight pars with a pair of birdies at the 13th and 14th, and birdied the par-five first directly after the turn.

But his flawless trip through 16 holes was not without pressure.

“Christiaan was making a run for it down the back nine and NJ made some unbelievable clutch putts,” Levey said. “It was a real lesson in golf to play with NJ and he kept me on my toes.”

After another set of six pars, Levey faced a tough lie in the greenside bunker at the par-three eighth.

“The ball was stuck just under the lip and I had a downward stance with no swing,” he said.

“I managed to play it out and finish with a four. We watched as Christiaan hit the green in one at the 18th and was setting up for an eagle putt. The pressure was on, but I knew NJ was out of it when he hit the water at the 18th.

“My caddie took the three-wood out of my hand, gave me the driver and said go for it. I hit it to 15 feet right of the pin. The relief was intense, because Christiaan missed the eagle putt by like two inches.

“I lagged it close and boxed the birdie putt for the win. Until you win under pressure, you’re never really sure if you have what it takes, but I have to thank my coach, because he never doubted me.

“Competing on the IGT Tour has taught me a lot and there is no turning back now.”

FINAL RESULT

134 – CJ Levey (AMA) 64 70

135 – NJ Arnoldi 67 68, Rosswell Sinclair (AMA) 67 68

136 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout 71 65

203 – CJ Levey (AMA) 64 70 69

204 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout 71 65 68

205 – David Ashley (AMA) 67 70 68

207 – Gideon Pienaar 70 69 68, NJ Arnoldi 67 68 72

209 – Rosswell Sinclair (AMA) 67 68 74

211 – Conway Kunneke 71 72 68, Jaco Mouton 69 68 74

212 – Michael Palmer 72 72 68, Dougie Meijer 72 68 72, Terence Boardman 67 72 73

213 – Bryandrew Roelofsz 70 71 72, Pieter Kruger 70 71 72, Thriston Lawrence 67 71 75, Stephan De Beer 69 68 76

214 – Tyron Mc Comb 74 71 69

215 – Ruan Korb (AMA) 74 69 72

216 – Jason Froneman 72 69 75

218 – Ryan Gosling 74 70 74, Fouche Botha (AMA) 72 71 75, TJ Bekker 72 69 77

219 – Tertius Van Den Berg 71 76 72, Christiaan Pretorius 71 70 78

220 – Duane Keun 72 71 77, Carlos Arroyo (AMA) 78 72 70

221 – Stephan Erasmus (AMA) 76 72 73

222 – Norman Beggs 77 71 74

223 – Jason Ackerman (AMA) 71 75 77, Justin Levy (NLD) 74 76 73, Hilton Hughes (AMA) 74 76 73

224 – Romano Saincic 75 72 77, Siphiwe Siphayi (AMA) 72 73 79, JC Van Dommelen 72 77 75, Rikus Oosthuizen (AMA) 77 74 73

225 – Quintin Crause (AMA) 72 75 78, Neal Hauptfleisch (AMA) 71 77 77, Pedro August 79 71 75

226 – Paul De Beer 75 71 80, Marco De Beer (AMA) 74 75 77, Eric Nel (AMA) 74 75 77

227 – Michael Schutz (AMA) 76 74 77, Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 83 68 76, Owen Grobler 81 72 74

228 – David Lamprecht 74 75 79, Michael Armstrong (AMA) 73 76 79, Jacques De Villiers (AMA) 75 75 78

229 – Danie Pretorius 72 75 82, Niel Meyer 78 74 77

230 – Keanan Aysen (AMA) 75 75 80

235 – Herman Minnie 75 76 84

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