12th August 2014 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Ritchie keeps ahead at Asian Q-School Race Irene

JCRitchie(Photo – JC Ritchie; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSHWANE, 12 August 2014 – Overnight leader JC Ritchie kept command of the IGT Tour’s third Race to Asian Q-School with a five-under-par 67 in the second round to finish at 12-under-par 132 at Irene Country Club on Tuesday.

For a second successive day, Ritchie reeled in five birdies and an eagle at his home course, and despite two bogeys on the back nine, finished three strokes ahead of amateur Hennie du Plessis.

Du Plessis carded a 68 to finish alone in second, two strokes clear of Brendan de Lange, who also returned a 68.

Russel Franz and amateur NJ Arnoldi both carded 70s to tie for fourth on 138, while reigning SA Stroke Play champion Jason Smith fired a flawless 65 for the low round of the day and a share of sixth with CJ du Plessis cousin, who carded a 68 to finish seven off the pace.

Ritchie picked up where he left off on the opening day with back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th, before adding a further gain at the par-five 17th to turn in 33 shots.

He promptly eagled the par-four first, and birdied the second, but gave back shots at the fifth and eighth holes before finishing with a birdie at the par-four ninth.

The Sunshine Tour rookie is just 18 holes away from his first victory this season.

More importantly, a podium finish will qualify the 19-year-old Irene golfer for a share of the more than R350,000 sponsorship available to the eight Race to the Asian Q-School champions to travel to Asia and tee it up at the Asian Tour’s Qualifying School early next year.

Although Ritchie is in a strong position to challenge, he is well aware of the potential pitfalls, having surrendered the lead a few times in his season-long campaign on the IGT Tour last year.

Even a week ago, having led during the first round of the Vodacom Origins, a couple of mistakes saw the Sunshine Tour rookie tie for 37th at St Francis Links.

“It was a good 67 today, nothing scrappy or lucky about it and I was never in any real danger,” said the GFG Academy golfer.

“I’m in a good spot heading into the final round, but I won’t get ahead of myself, because I know how quickly things can turn around in this game.”

Meanwhile the fast greens and firm fairways dished up a feast of low scoring.

At the 36-hole mark, the par threes had served up 76 birdies, the par fours accounted for 313 birdies and 10 eagles and the par fives dished up 19 eagles and 228 birdies.

“We may have to think about building new tees for these guys,” kidded Irene Country Club director of golf, Dietrich Uys.

“We set up the course from the back tips on both days and tucked the pins over slopes and into corners, but the guys are still shooting the lights out.

“Pieter Kruger and Bryandrew Roelofsz even walked off with an ace each. Kruger knocked one in the hole at the 360m par-four ninth on Monday and Roelofsz mailed a nine-iron 141 meters straight into the hole at the par-three seventh today.

It’s great to see the guys shooting some low numbers. It really fires up the competition and it does a helluva job boosting their confidence, especially the rookies heading back to the Sunshine Tour circuit.”

Sunshine Ladies Tour regular Alana van Greuning carded rounds of 76 and 74 to make the final round, but unfortunately for Roelofsz, the cut fell at six over 150, which left him five shots over the mark.

SECOND ROUND SCORES

132 – JC Ritchie 65 67

135 – Hennie Du Plessis (AMA) 67 68

137 – Brendan De Lange 69 68

138 – Russel Franz 68 70, NJ Arnoldi (AMA) 68 70

139 – CJ du Plessis 71 68, Jason Smith (AMA) 74 65

140 – Toto Thimba Jnr 70 70, Roberto Lupini 74 66, Coert Groenewald 70 70, Jacques Kruyswijk 70 70, Herman Minnie 73 67

141 – Jacques de Villiers 70 71, Dayne Moore ZAM 71 70

142 – JC van Dommelen 73 69, Rupert Kaminski (AMA) 74 68, Byron Garvie 71 71, Conway Kunneke 73 69

143 – Ted Hendriks 71 72, Ruan Conradie (AMA) 70 73, Francois Coetzee 77 66, Rosswell Sinclair (AMA) 72 71

144 – Tyrone Ryan 73 71, Zabastian De Jager (AMA) 74 70, Bryn Flanagan (AMA) 76 68, Terence Boardman 70 74

145 – Martin Rohwer (AMA) 75 70, Jason Froneman (AMA) 71 74, James Searson 71 74, Rae Mackie 73 72, Tertius Van Den Berg 73 72, Lean Boezaart 76 69

146 – Leon Scheepers (AMA) 71 75, Jacquin Hess 77 69, Arthur Horne SWZ 69 77, Pieter Kruger 73 73

147 – Pierre Viviers 71 76, Kevin Rundle (AMA) 74 73, Derik Ferreira 75 72, Ryan Gosling 71 76, Desne van den Bergh 74 73

148 – Jaco Prinsloo 76 72, Werner Van Niekerk 73 75, Ockert Strydom 73 75, DK Kim KOR 74 74, Christiaan Pretorius 75 73, Duane Keun 76 72

149 – Patrick Thompson 73 76, Divan Van Den Heever 76 73, Hano van der Walt 77 72, Shika Letoaba 73 76, Gideon Pienaar 75 74, Phillip Kruse (AMA) 75 74, Niel Meyer (AMA) 80 69

150 – Michael Van Hoeck (AMA) 75 75, Alana van Greuning 76 74, Tyron McComb 76 74, Ruan Huysamen NAM 72 78, Quintin Crause (AMA) 77 73, Wynand Dingle 80 70

Missed the cut:-

151 – Jaco Mouton 79 72

152 – Hilton Hughes (AMA) 74 78, Antonio Rosado POR 75 77

153 – Juan Langeveld 77 76, Arno Pretorius (AMA) 72 81, Stefan Cronje (AMA) 78 75, Glen James de Waal NAM 76 77

154 – Robert Herselman FRA 77 77, Jerry Steyn 77 77, Mike Maile 71 83, Otto van Greunen 77 77, Ryan Clarke 78 76

155 – Jonathan Raphunga 80 75, Johan Smit (AMA) 77 78, Wayne Stroebel 82 73, Bryandrew Roelofsz 79 76, Murray Smit 77 78, Reghard Neethling (AMA) 77 78, Calvin Caldeira (AMA) 75 80

156 – JP Schmidt (AMA) 76 80, Pieter Van der Linde (AMA) 76 80, Daniel Joubert (AMA) 76 80

157 – Mark Fraser 78 79, Hanbo Lee 81 76

158 – Dwayne Coetzee 75 83, Werner van der Walt 80 78, Paul De Beer 77 81

159 – David Lamprecht 79 80, Jacques De Villiers (AMA) 80 79

160 – Philip Esau (AMA) 79 81, Kobus Engelbrecht (AMA) 80 80, Christopher McGuire (AMA) 80 80

161 – Deon Bredenkamp 81 80

163 – Juran Dreyer (AMA) 83 80, Wesley Baptiste (AMA) 78 85

164 – Justin Godfrey (AMA) 86 78, Dyllan Lavagna-Slater (AMA) 81 83, CJ Levey (AMA) 84 80, Divan Marais (AMA) 85 79

165 – Cameron Esau 77 88, Rhoan Gardiner 87 78

166 – Matthew Kiewitz (AMA) 87 79

169 – Werner Lourens (AMA) 87 82, Shaun van Tonder 85 84

171 – Pieter Hoeksma (AMA) 90 81, Julian de Wet (AMA) 88 83

172 – Reinard Schuhknect (AMA) 90 82

173 – Gerard van Zyl (AMA) 90 83, Etzard Grimbeek (AMA) 88 85

181 – James Garlinge (AMA) 87 94

182 – Marna De Langen 90 92, Gustav Erasmus 94 88

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