28th August 2017 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Roets goes on rampage to lead Ruimsig Challenge

(PHOTO – Jason Roets; credit CJ du Plooy)

ROODEPOORT, 28 August 2017 – Jason Roets made a brilliant start in his bid for a second IGT Challenge Tour title in the Ruimsig Challenge when he opened with an eight-under-par 64 at Ruimsig Country Club on Monday.

The Eikenhof rookie leads by two strokes from Pretoria amateur Eric Nel and he is three shots clear of Duane Keun and Dainfern amateur Cameron Moralee.

Pretoria’s Estiaan Conradie – hunting his sixth victory on the country’s premier golf development circuit – sits at four under 68.

Roets broke through for his maiden win in only his fourth start in May when he edged out David McIntyre in a play-off in the Killarney Challenge in May. He racked up four straight birdies before the turn to complete the opening loop in 31 and played the back nine in three under to rocket to the top of the pile.

“I played really nicely,” said the 24-year-old. “I hit 17 greens in regulation and needed only 30 putts. I hit the driver well and the irons, too, so I could throw some darts at the flags. It’s just the first round, but it’s a pretty handy score to start with.”

Roets got to one under with a birdie at the par five fourth and produced four birdies with his pin-seeking strikes over the last four holes on the front nine.

“I hit my tee shot at six a little right, but I hit a good second to 25 feet and holed the putt,” he said. “At the uphill seventh, I hit nine-iron to 12 feet and I hit another great drive down the eighth. My lob-wedge approach landed eight feet from the hole and I drained the birdie putt.

“The ninth was playing downwind. The driver was a little right again, but I hit a great four-iron to 12 feet for eagle. Unfortunately the putt broke a bit more than I anticipated, but I made the birdie putt to turn five under.”

Roets short-sided himself with a poor second shot at the 10th and a plugged lie in the greenside bunker resulted in his only bogey, but he wiped the slate clean at the par-four 12th.

“The tee shot was iffy, but I hit a great wedge over the trees to four feet and holed the putt,” he said. “Birdied 14 and almost holed out at 17. The ball finished about six inches from the hole for a tap-in birdie. The last hole was playing downwind and I hit a great drive down the middle. I hit a seven-iron for my second and two-putted from 18 feet for the final birdie.

“I played with an invitation on the Sunshine Tour at the Wild Coast Sun last week and it was a huge learning curve. I really enjoyed the experience and it’s nice to come back and produce a solid round to keep that momentum going.”

Moralee’s was the only flawless card on the day with birdies pencilled in at one, nine, 10, 14 and 18.

A past Freddie Tait Cup winner as the leading amateur in the SA Open, Moralee took up a golf scholarship at Keiser University in the United States and he was named to the 2017 NAIA Ping All-American First team in his first season.

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