16th April 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Palmer powers to victory at Houghton

Houghton13-15AprDay3 (105)(Photo – Michael Palmer; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 15 April 2015 – A double-bogey at the penultimate hole barely made a dent in Michael Palmer’s lead as the Bryanston professional powered his way to a second IGT Tour title in the RAW Golf School Classic.

Palmer led from start to finish to claim his maiden title on the country’s premier development Tour in the Jeandre Fourie Classic in February. Impressively, he went wire-to-wire again at Houghton Golf Club on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old carved out a nine stroke stroke advantage with rounds of 66 and 64. Despite a valiant effort from Christiaan Bezuidenhout, the recent Centurion Academy Classic champion barely put pressure on Palmer with a final round five under 67.

The champion reeled in six birdies to offset three bogeys and signed for a 69 to claim an emphatic seven stroke victory on 19-under-par 199.

“I am so incredibly pleased with this win, because I managed my game really well over the 54 holes and I held it together nicely in the final round,” Palmer said.

“You still want to post the best possible score on the day, irrespective of how big the lead is. It was important for me to get off to a fast start to take the pressure off and to put myself in a good position for the back nine.

“I managed to do that with four birdies in the first five holes and it was nice to relax a little and enjoy the experience over the last nine holes coming in.”

Palmer spent six years in the United States, where he graduated with degrees in Business Finance and Economics from Oklahoma City University and worked 18 months for an Oklahoma oil and gas conglomerate.

He started campaigning on the IGT Tour after his return to South Africa last December and the second podium finish has vindicated his decision to make a career out of the game.

“I’ve always loved playing golf and I really missed it when I was working, so it was an easy decision to come home and start playing full-time,” he said.

“You have to be happy in what you do, and, as they say, I am a very happy camper right now.

“It’s also important to have a strong support system, and I am very privileged to have incredible support from my family and thankful that things are working out so well for me.

“I really hope I can keep this run going and make a decent start on the Big Easy Tour in May and hopefully take a few more IGT Tour trophies home, as well.”

FINAL RESULT

199 – Michael Palmer 66 64 69

206 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout 70 69 67

213 – TJ Bekker 73 67 73

214 – Bryandrew Roelofsz 72 72 70

215 – CJ du Plessis 74 72 69, Gideon Pienaar 68 74 73

217 – Terence Boardman 82 66 69, Tyron Roelofsz 73 69 75, Niel Meyer 73 69 75

220 – Hilton Hughes (AMA) 79 70 71, Gareth Akers (AMA) 76 73 71, Tyron Mc Comb 76 72 72, Christiaan Pretorius 71 74 75

222 – Danie Pretorius 79 72 71, Carrie Park (AMA) 68 76 78, Duane Keun 71 70 81

223 – Michael Armstrong (AMA) 75 77 71, Dylan Docherty (AMA) 75 72 76, Mpho Mafishe 72 73 78

224 – Ryan Gosling 78 73 73, CJ Levey (AMA) 73 71 80

225 – NJ Arnoldi 74 74 77

226 – Justin Levy NLD 71 78 77, Shaun van Tonder 72 79 75, Stephan Erasmus (AMA) 73 75 78

227 – Jacques de Villiers 72 77 78, Sipho Bujela 73 76 78, Stephan De Beer 80 72 75

228 – Sean Olfsen (AMA) 78 72 78, Jandre Fullard (AMA) 77 74 77, Siphiwe Siphayi (AMA) 70 77 81, Paul De Beer 79 75 74

229 – Morne Wolmarans (AMA) 78 74 77, Ruan Korb (AMA) 80 73 76

230 – Matthew Adams (AMA) 76 78 76

231 – Dylan O’Leary 75 80 76

232 – Rhoan Gardiner 76 75 81, Norman Beggs 73 73 86, Michael Jooste (AMA) 80 74 78, David Ashley (AMA) 74 81 77, Wim Grobler 75 81 76

234 – Jason Ackerman (AMA) 81 72 81

235 – Brendan Britten (NAM) 81 72 82, Owen Grobler 82 72 81, Marc De Jager (AMA) 76 79 80

236 – Arno Bartholoma GER 78 76 82, Phillip Kruse (AMA) 78 78 80

237 – Wayne du Toit 80 73 84, Michael Kok (AMA) 79 76 82

RTD – Ryan Wingrove (AMA) 80 75 RTD

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