3rd August 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf
Rambo takes early control at Pro Squad Classic
TSHWANE, 3 August 2015 – Sishen Open champion Christiaan Bezuidenhout laid the foundation for back-to-back victories on the IGT Tour with a solid opening four-under-par 68 in the Pro Squad Classic at Centurion Country Club on Monday.
Wanna Be A Champion player reeled in half-a-dozen birdies to offset two bogeys for a one stroke lead, but Bezuidenhout will need to maintain this form to stay ahead of the chasing pack.
Fellow Ekurhuleni golfer NJ Arnoldi and Conway Kunneke are in hot pursuit, while Bryn Flanagan – a recent Big Easy Tour winner – threatens at two under.
Bezuidenhout, who was nicknamed Rambo by his peers in his amateur days, is also well aware of CJ Levey in his rear-view mirror.
The 22-year-old Centurion amateur broke through for a maiden IGT Tour win with a wire-to-wire performance in the first Pro Squad Classic at Centurion Country Club. Levey is just three off the pace alongside fellow GFG Academy golfer Ted Hendriks and amateur Andi Dill.
Bezuidenhout had mixed feelings about this round after birdies at one, four and five on the front nine and added further gains at 12, 15 and 17.
“I three-putted two short holes and both drops were down really bad putting,” said Bezuidenhout.
“I left my first putt eight feet short at the third and the par-putt lipped out. I rushed the par-putt at 11 four feet past the hole and lipped out on the low side with the return.
“My game plan was to keep the ball in play to give myself chances and I was striking the ball really well. I only missed one green all day, so although I was frustrated, it was a solid round.”
Bezuidenhout said the key to winning this week will be patience.
“Look, it is always frustrating when you hit the ball well and the putts don’t drop, but you just have to keep a lid on your annoyance and keep grinding,” he said.
Kunneke notched four birdies against a lone bogey at 18 for a 69, while Arnoldi matched his Wanna Be A Champion stable-mate’s six birdies for a share of second.
“I am really happy with how my game is progressing,” Arnoldi said.
“Doug (Wood) and I started working on n minimizing bad shots and to keep bad shots in play a few months back. I really struggled with this but over the last couple of weeks I am starting to see a lot of progress.
“I played really well at the Sishen Open, but I just didn’t score. I leaked two shots into the hazards at six and nine and my par-putt horseshoed at 12. That’s the kind of thing I am trying to avoid, but it happens sometimes. I am really happy to have six birdies on my card.
“As Christiaan says, the course is testing our patience and that’s something we all need to learn if we hope to make a go of it in the pro ranks.
Reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion Carrie Park was the only female golfer to start in the 93-strong field and carded an opening 73 to tie for 12th.
The GFG Academy golfer joined Sheldon Steyn from Zimbabwe, IGT Tour winner Tyron Mc Comb, Siphiwe Siphayi and fellow amateurs Carlos Arroyo, Keegan Steyn and Jandre Fullard, whose patience was pushed to the max.
The Serengeti golfer made 17 straight pars before he broke the run with a bogey at 18.
FIRST ROUND SCORES
(All players RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA)
68 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout
69 – Conway Kunneke, NJ Arnoldi
70 – Bryn Flanagan
71 – CJ Levey (AMA), Ted Hendriks, Andi Dill (AMA)
72 – Andrew Williamson (AMA), TJ Bekker, Matthew Vogel, Jaco Mouton
73 – Carlos Arroyo (AMA), Jandre Fullard (AMA), Keegan Steyn (AMA), Carrie Park (AMA), Sheldon Steyn ZIM, Tyron Mc Comb, Siphiwe Siphayi
74 – Michael Schutz (AMA), Gregory Royston (AMA), Garth Wolter, Ruan Korb (AMA), Pieter Kruger, Christiaan Pretorius, Gideon Pienaar
75 – Cole Dodgen (AMA), Maxime Deffontaine (AMA) BEL, Ryan Ciapparelli
76 – David Lamprecht, Wian Verster, Niel Meyer, Duan Nagel (AMA), Michael Jooste (AMA), Louis Taylor (AMA), Mark Bright
77 – Pieter Muller (AMA), Peetie Van Der Merwe (AMA), Gareth Akers (AMA), Reynhard Reynecke (AMA), Michael Van Hoeck (AMA) BEL, Slade Fick (AMA), Gary Daoust (AMA), Simon Kruger, Joubert van Eeden (AMA), Matthew Kiewitz (AMA), Hilton Hughes (AMA)
78 – Keanan Aysen (AMA), Jason Ackerman (AMA), Ruan Conradie (AMA), Danie Pretorius, Divan Marais (AMA), Shaun van Tonder, Godfrey Mphaga, Johan de Beer
79 – Niel Theron (AMA), Zander Potgieter (AMA), Marc De Jager (AMA), Chris Van Tonder (AMA), Andre Van Heerden (AMA)
80 – Conner Mackenzie (AMA), Michael Pienaar (AMA), Dwayne Coetzee, Gerard Du Plooy, Hanko Bothma (AMA), Zillan Du Pisani (AMA)
81 – Armand Azar (AMA), Gregory Beltramo, Julian de Wet (AMA), Lydon Charnely (AMA), Marco De Beer (AMA), Lloyd Herbst (AMA), Andre Pistorius, Hendrikus Stoop (AMA), Vincent Mienie (AMA)
82 – Werner Lourens (AMA), Michael Kok (AMA), Herman Minnie, Juan De Bruin (AMA)
83 – Barend Herbst (AMA), Rikus Oosthuizen (AMA), Stephan Erasmus (AMA)
84 – Dougie Meijer, Wayne du Toit
85 – Donovan Pestana (AMA)
86 – Brandon Lydon (AMA), Jabu Radebe, Jonty B Shelton (AMA)
87 – Angelo Marques (AMA)
88 – Ramon Rigney
89 – Jadrick Fourie (AMA)
91 – Tommie Brits (AMA)
92 – Dean Schonegevel (AMA)
95 – JP Basson (AMA)
Missed the cut:-
DSQ – Bryandrew Roelofsz