31st October 2013 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Lombard clinches IGT Race to Q-School in style

(Photo – Zander Lombard; credit CJ du Plooy)Zander Lombard

PRETORIA, 30 October 2013 – Top South African amateur Zander Lombard is in danger of earning the “Chuck Norris” tag after he produced a sensational finish for a maiden IGT Tour win at the IGT Challenge Pro Tour’s Race to Q-School at Silver Lakes Country Club on Wednesday.

Having double bogeyed the par-five 18th in the second round for a 70, the Pretoria golfer trailed overnight leader Otto van Greunen by two shots at the start of the final round.

However, this 18-year-old is well known in the amateur ranks for his never-say-day attitude and, not surprisingly, Lombard came back with force.

The Pretoria golfer hit a magnificent approach at the ultimate hole from 170 meters out to an inch short of the cup and boxed the putt for eagle to put the seal on an exceptional eight-under-par 64.

His winning score of 16-under-par 200 left him five shots clear of Van Greunen, who followed two 67s with a closing 71, and saw him finish 12 shots ahead of fellow amateur Callum Mowat (72) and IGT Tour Race to Q-School winner Brendan de Lange (67) in third.

Lombard has been in threatening form since he beat former number one amateur Haydn Porteous for the KwaZulu-Natal Match Play title in May and hit the front in the rankings a month later.

Although he hasn’t played that many provincial events this season, he has not finished outside the top 10 in 10 starts since March.

The young Turk showed his hand with an opening 66, and more than made up for the second round lapse as he racked in seven birdies offset by a bogey at the 14th in the final round.

Lombard said the key to his low round was ball striking and putting.

“I struck the ball very well and hit almost every green in regulation,” he said. “I only had 27 putts, and that always helps. I was disappointed with the double bogey finish on Tuesday, because I was really hitting it well. But the one thing I know about this game is that you can never give up.

“I just stuck to my routines, kept my focus and everything else fell into place.”

Lombard was thrilled to win in his fourth IGT Tour start and hopes to carry this form to Glendower for his second appearance in the South African Open Championship. He won the SA Boys High Schools Championship at the SA Open venue in 2005 and has since reeled in a bunch of top three finishes at the regular IGT Tour stop.

“I’m really excited about this year’s SA Open,” he said. “To have Henrik Stenson back to defend and to line up with our top professionals at this course is going to be awesome.

“I have improved over the last 12 months and I think I am a much more rounded golfer than when I made my debut at Serengeti last year, so I am looking forward to a great tournament.”

FINAL RESULT (Top 30)

All competitors RSA unless otherwise indicated; amateurs = AMA

200 – Zander Lombard AMA 66 70 64

205 – Otto van Greunen 67 67 71

212 – Brendan De Lange 72 73 67, Callum Mowat AMA 71 69 72

213 – Mike Maile 73 69 71, Jacques de Villiers 73 68 72, James Searson 69 70 74

214 – Rae Mackie 76 70 68, TJ Bekker 72 72 70

215 – Coert Groenewald 71 72 72, Carlos Arroyo AMA 72 70 73, Lean Boezaart 72 70 73, Terence Boardman 69 70 76

217 – Justin Turner 74 69 74

218 – Jonathan Waschefort 75 67 76

219 – Herman Minnie 70 78 71, Nathan Waghorn 72 72 75

220 – Robert Herselman AMA 77 71 72, Ryan Ciapparelli AMA 74 76 70, Jaco Mouton 83 70 67

221 – Philip Geerts AMA 74 76 71, Danie Pretorius 78 69 74, Bryandrew Roelofsz 76 71 74, Frans Strydom 74 71 76, Ted Hendriks 72 72 77

222 – NJ Arnoldi AMA 75 74 73, Jacques Prinsloo 76 74 72, Dongkwan Kim 75 73 74, Lukas Steyn AMA 75 70 77, Roberto Lupini 77 76 69

223 – Henriette Frylinck 73 76 74, Gideon Pienaar 75 75 73, Rob Menzies 73 73 77, Jerry Steyn 71 74 78

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