21st October 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Patient Palmer pulls clear at Houghton

Houghton20-22OctDay1 (147)(PHOTO – Michael Palmer; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 21 October 2015 – Bryanston’s Michael Palmer hopes to ride a three shot advantage to a fourth IGT Tour victory in Thursday’ final round of the Race to Q-School, presented by RAW Academy, at Houghton Golf Club.

The 25-year-old Oklahoma City University graduate reversed three bogeys for a 73 to lead at four-under-par 140 from amateur Andrew Carlsson, who returned a 68 to earn the lowest round honours on a tough scoring day.

“It was a real test of patience out there,” Palmer said.

“We played off the back tips and most of the pin positions were designed to force you to hit away from the pin to the flat parts of the green. On most of the holes, you had to make 15 to 20 footers for birdie or you were facing those short, tricky putts to save par.

“I picked up early birdies at one and five, but I missed three four-footers in a row from six and another one at 11. I got another putt in the hole for birdie at 15 to reduce the damage.

“Some of the par-threes were playing over 200 metres, but at this stage of the game, the course set-up has to be tougher than normal to get us all into a higher gear ahead of Qualifying School.”

Palmer got his first taste of golf’s ultimate test in the European Tour’s Qualifying School First Stage last month.

He opened with a 75 and followed with 70, 67 and 69 to grab the ninth card on offer.

He heading to Spain for the Second Stage Qualifier at Campo de Golf El Saler in Valencia at the end of the month and a fourth podium finish on the country’s premier development Tour will go a long way in feeding his confidence for the second gruelling examination early next month.

“Q-School is every bit as tough as they tell you and then some,” said Palmer. “Here I have 10 to 20 guys to beat, but there were 65 of us who contested for 20 cards in the First Stage Qualifier at Ribagolf in Portugal. There I had to beat at least 60 to get a pass, but I got mentally tough on the IGT Tour this year and that was my saving grace.

“I put too much pressure on myself in the first round and I just talked myself into letting my game happen. I was really proud of how I handled myself in a high pressure situation. It’s like today’s round. You are trying to limit your mistakes, but you can’t go off the deep end if you miss a few. You just have to keep focussed and try to turn things around. That’s why I’m playing this week; it important to keep sharp and competitive for Spain.”

Overnight leader Bryn Flanagan returned a 77 to fade to a tie for third on one under with BDGA Academy Classic winner Louis Taylor, who carded 74.

Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigner Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland carded an even-par 72 to grab a share of 22nd at five under 149, while Alana van Greuning posted a 74 to finish a further stroke adrift.

Melissa Eaton shot 73 to climb to joint 37th at seven over, while Francesca Cuturi also finished on the positive side of the cut, set at 158, with a second round 76.

SECOND ROUND SCORES

All competitors RSA unless otherwise stated; amateurs indicated as (ama)

140 – Michael Palmer 67 73

142 – Andrew Carlsson (ama) 74 68

143 – Bryn Flanagan 66 77, Louis Taylor (ama) 69 74

144 – Conway Kunneke 75 69, NJ Arnoldi 67 77, Liam Clinton (ama) 75 69, Jeff Hopkins (ama) IRE 71 73

145 – Matthew Adams (ama) 72 73, Bryandrew Roelofsz 72 73, Dylan O’Leary 74 71, Ryan Ciapparelli 71 74

146 – Paul de Beer 72 74, Herman Minnie 72 74, Bryce McCabe 72 74, Peter Wilson ENG 70 76

147 – Jason Diab 73 74, Mikhail Tewary 74 73

148 – Matthew Kent 73 75, Dean O’Riley 74 74, Danie Pretorius 76 72

149 – David McIntyre (ama) 71 78, Nobuhle Dlamini SWA 77 72, Jacques Ungerer 79 70, Derryn Mitri (ama) 76 73, Vico Kuhn 75 74, Altaaf Bux 76 73, Damian Naicker 72 77, Bartjie de Klerk (ama) 70 79

150 – Joubert van Eeden 74 76, Christiaan Pretorius 71 79, Michael Armstrong (ama) 72 78, Gareth Akers 75 75, Hilton Hughes (ama) 79 71, CJ Levey (ama) 72 78, Alana van Greuning 76 74

151 – Justin Levy NLD 70 81, Melissa Eaton 78 73, Brendan Britten NAM 72 79

152 – Gerard Du Plooy 73 79, Amerigo Renieri (ama) 76 76, Neal Herman (ama) 76 76

153 – Andi Dill (ama) 74 79, Francesca Cuturi 77 76, Tom Watson (ama) 77 76, Romano Saincic 73 80

154 – Matt Bright (ama) 74 80, Chris van Tonder (ama) 74 80

155 – Jandre Fullard (ama) 75 80, Dwayne Coetzee 80 75

156 – Siphiwe Siphayi 73 83, Shaun van Tonder 73 83, Phillip Montgomery 76 80, Quintin Crause (ama) 77 79, Graham van der Merwe 80 76, Dylan Docherty 80 76, David Ashley ENG 73 83, Stephan Erasmus (ama) 75 81

157 – Armandt Scholtz (ama) 77 80, JP Schmidt (ama) 79 78

Missed the cut:-

158 – Morne Wolmarans (ama) 82 76, Angelo Marques (ama) 83 75, Sean Olfsen (ama) 76 82

159 – Norman Beggs 78 81, David Lamprecht 79 80

160 – Keegan Steyn (ama) 81 79, Matthew Vogel 81 79, Wayne Stroebel 79 81, Hein Dreyer (ama) 74 86

161 – Ricki Dembo (ama) 77 84, Byron Garvie 81 80

162 – Mohammed Ismail (ama) 80 82

163 – Gavin Miles (ama) 83 80, Carlos Arroyo (ama) 79 84

165 – Ricardo Towell 82 83, Etzard Grimbeek (ama) 80 85

166 – Duan Nagel (ama) 87 79, Marais Visagie 81 85, Ramon Rigney 84 82

167 – Tumie Motale 85 82, Shingi Shumba (ZIM) 89 78

168 – Coert Cronje (ama) 83 85

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