25th January 2018 | Big Easy IGT Golf
Mowat motors to Modderfontein win
(PHOTO – Callum Mowat; credit CJ du Plooy)
JOHANNESBURG, 24 January 2018 – Sunshine Tour campaigner Callum Mowat turned back the clock on Wednesday to return to the winner’s circle on the IGT Challenge Tour in the 13th event of the 2018 Race to Q-School Series.
A former graduate of the country’s premier golf development circuit, Mowat worked his home course knowledge hard over the back nine at Modderfontein Golf Club to triumph on 10-under-par 206 with a birdie-birdie finish.
A final round four-under 68 left Mowat three shots clear of overnight leader Tokkie van den Berg and fellow Sunshine Tour campaigners Wynand Dingle and Heinrich Bruiners.
“It’s been four years since I won the Race to Q-School Series and graduated to the Sunshine Tour, so it was really nice to experience those positive vibes again,” said the delighted winner.
“The last 18 months on the Sunshine Tour has been one long grind. I kept my card, but I missed quite a few cuts by just one shot. I felt like I couldn’t get anything going and the frustration just kept mounting. The hardest blow was when I missed the exempt field for the BMW SA Open by one shot. Coming back to the IGT Challenge Tour evoked a lot of positive memories. It’s nice to gain back a bit of confidence and take that energy to the Sunshine Tour.”
Mowat lagged three shots off the pace at the start of the final round after rounds of 70 and 68.
He turned seven-under after a birdie start, a bogey at three and another gain at the eighth hole and started the back nine tied for the lead with Van den Berg and Gary Player School of 2017 member Bruiners.
“I laid up at the 10th, chipped it stiff from 20 metres and holed the birdie putt,” said Mowat. “I hit it close and had birdie chances at 14, 15 and 16, but after six straight pars, the putts finally dropped at the most important holes.
“I hit a good driver down 17, a soft sand-wedge to eight foot and holed a tricky right-to-left downhill putt for birdie to go nine-under. I hit a solid 3-wood down the last hole, a wedge to 12 foot and rolled the putt in for the win.”
Mowat graduated the IGT Challenge Tour after he won the 2013 Race to the Q-School Series and headed to Bloemfontein to join 250 other hopefuls in the gruelling 90-hole Sunshine Tour Qualifying School.
Having finished among the 31 successful graduates who secured their cards for 2014 season, Mowat also banked a cheque worth R100 000 as the IGT Challenge Tour’s top graduate at Q-School.
“That money gave me so much freedom,” said the 25-year-old old.
“I started my career without financial worries. It is so tough that first season on Tour, because you have to adjust to so many things at the same time. To have that buffer to start me out was really great. And here I am starting my fifth season on the Sunshine Tour.
“It’s really great to get that confidence back that took me to the Sunshine Tour in the first place. I found a few niggles that my coach and I will work out this week before the Sunshine Tour kicks off again in February.”
FINAL RESULT (top 20)
206 – Callum Mowat 70 68 68
209 – Wynand Dingle 69 71 69, Heinrich Bruiners 70 66 73, Tokkie van den Berg 65 70 74
210 – Philip Geerts (ITA) 67 72 71
211 – Antonio Costa (CHL) 71 69 71
212 – Dylan Mostert AMA 74 69 69, Matt Bright 73 69 70, Paul Boshoff 71 70 71
213 – Eric Park (KOR) 72 71 70, Werner van Wyk 69 71 73
214 – Antonio Rosado (POR) 73 70 71, Omar Sandys 67 75 72, Juran Dreyer AMA 70 71 73, Makhetha Mazibuko 68 71 75, Ruan Huysamen (NAM) 68 71 75
215 – Coert Groenewald 71 70 74, Dongkwan Kim (KOR) 72 69 74, Allister de Kock 69 71 75
216 – Kyle Barker 72 71 73, Luke Brown AMA 71 74 71, Sipho Bujela 74 68 74, Albert Venter 72 70 74, John McClean (NIR) 71 71 74, Basil Wright 73 68 75, Gerard du Plooy 71 69 76, Juan Langeveld 74 66 76, Damian Naicker 68 72 76, Clinton Grobler 71 69 76
PHOTOS – Callum Mowat and Leon Kruger from Modderfontein Golf Club; credit CJ du Plooy.