20th May 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Palmer’s moment of brilliance bags IGT hat-trick

Wingate18-20MayDay3 (146)(PHOTO – Michael Palmer; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSHWANE, 20 May 2015 – Bryanston’s Michael Palmer produced two brilliant shots at the 18th hole when it counted to savour a play-off victory over fellow professionals Paul de Beer and Bryn Flanagan in the IGT Tour’s CA Academy Classic on Wednesday.

Palmer mailed a superb drive down the fairway of the par-five closing hole at Wingate Park Country Club and followed with a perfectly timed seven-iron into the green. Then he calmly boxed a six-foot putt for eagle to seal his third wire-to-wire victory on the country’s premier development Tour since February.

“This is quite possibly the best victory of my career, because it never looked possible,” said the 25-year-old Palmer at the end of a thoroughly frustrating day.

“The whole round was just one long test of patience, determination and endurance and I am walking away from this tournament with a truckload of experience and confidence.”

Palmer opened with a 66 to take pole position and protected a one stroke lead with a 70 in round two.

However, the tournament favourite was only able to interrupt a series of 16 straight pars twice.

A birdie at the second and bogey at the par-four seventh opened the door for De Beer, who began the final round two strokes off the pace and Flanagan, lagged six shots behind.

“I was hitting my drives slightly off line, I didn’t hit my irons straight either and all my putts seemed to finish just short or long,” the double Oklahoma City University graduate explained.

“I realised that trying to find a fix was not an option, so I just attempted to calm myself and to stay patient and in the moment throughout the round.”

Flanagan fired a six under 66 to set the clubhouse target at eight under 208.

De Beer held a one stroke lead going down the 18th in regulation play, but bogeyed the closing hole and signed for a 70 to tie Flanagan and Palmer, who closed with a 72.

“I knew I needed to pull off the best two shots of the day to have a change and somehow I did it,” Palmer said.

“The pin was tucked at the back of the green behind the slope, and I landed the ball in exactly the right spot. It bounced short of the slop and rolled up to six feet.

“Paul made par, but Bryn had an awesome up-and-down for birdie. I felt slightly nervous addressing the ball, but I knew I had it the minute the ball began rolling towards the hole.”
Palmer won both the Jeandre Fourie Classic and the RAW Golf School Classic by seven strokes and having to pull on all his resources in his third victory was new territory for him.

“I definitely learned a lot from this experience. It’s great to know I can throw patience into the growing arsenal, because it’s the most important ‘club’ to have in the bag.”

FINAL RESULT

208 – Michael Palmer 66 70 72

208 – Bryn Flanagan 72 70 66, Paul De Beer 69 69 70

209 – Gideon Pienaar 71 66 72

211 – David McIntyre (AMA) 72 70 69

212 – Ruan Huysamen NAM 71 72 69

213 – Herman Minnie 74 72 67; Brett Liddle 75 68 70

214 – Hennie Du Plessis 69 76 69

215 – Jason Diab 71 69 75

216 – Bryandrew Roelofsz 69 74 73

217 – Pieter Kruger 69 77 71; Duane Keun 69 72 76

218 – Glen de Waal NAM 74 71 73; Sheldon Steyn ZIM 73 71 74; Nobuhle Dlamini SWA 74 71 73; Carrie Park (AMA) 69 74 75

219 – Russel Franz 82 67 70

220 – Conway Kunneke 73 73 74; David Ashley (AMA) 77 73 70; Andi Dill (AMA) 71 77 72; TJ Bekker 76 71 73; Morne Wolmarans (AMA) 76 72 72

221 – Peetie Van Der Merwe (AMA) 73 75 73; Joubert Van Eeden (AMA) 76 74 71; Dwayne Coetzee 71 72 78; Siphiwe Siphayi (AMA) 69 73 79; Divan Marais (AMA) 73 71 77; Khaya Jika 69 75 77

222 – Jaco Mouton 75 76 71; CJ Levey (AMA) 75 71 76; Johan Van Der Wath 76 76 71

223 – Christiaan Pretorius 67 77 79

224 – Gareth Akers (AMA) 75 71 78

225 – Danie Pretorius 81 66 78; Stephan Erasmus (AMA) 74 72 79

226 – Michael Pienaar (AMA) 75 76 75; Patrick Thompson 74 74 78

227 – Simon Kruger (AMA) 75 74 78; Slade Fick (AMA) 74 73 80

228 – Jandre Fullard (AMA) 75 75 78

229 – Matthew Vogel 76 79 74; Jacques de Villiers 77 76 76

230 – Sean Coomer (AMA) 76 78 76; Rikus Oosthuizen (AMA) 76 78 76

231 – Barend Herbst (AMA) 81 74 76; Brendan Britten NAM 77 75 79; Tumelo Molloyi (AMA) 78 71 82; Matt Wollman (AMA) GER 76 77 78

232 – David Lamprecht 80 72 80; Michael Kok (AMA) 74 80 78; Reynhard Reynecke (AMA) 73 80 79

233 – Stephan De Beer 77 80 76; Niel Meyer 79 73 81; Michael Armstrong (AMA) 72 78 83

235 – Dougie Meijer 77 80 78

237 – JP Schmidt (AMA) 83 73 81; Jason Ackerman (AMA) 80 76 81

239 – Devan Payne (AMA) 77 78 84; Gerrit Van Niekerk (AMA) 81 76 82

WDN – Francois Mouton (AMA) 82 75 WDN

RTD – NJ Arnoldi 74 75 RTD

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