30th August 2017 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Roets reels in Ruimsig Challenge title

(PHOTO – Jason Roets; credit CJ du Plooy)

ROODEPOORT, 30 August 2017 – Eikenhof professional Jason Roets fended off a strong chasing pack to reel in the Ruimsig Challenge title in Roodepoort on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old fired a final round four-under-par 68 to win in wire-to-wire fashion and celebrated his second turn in the winner’s circle on the IGT Challenge Tour on a 13-under-par 203 total at Ruimsig Country Club.

Roets finished two shots clear of Pretoria rookie Estiaan Conradie, who racked up four birdies on the back nine for a 69 and second on his own.

Garth Wolter and Pretoria amateur Eric Nel posted a pair of 71s to tie for third on nine under, amateur Cameron Moralee from Dainfern posted 69 to finish in fifth at eight under and former Sunshine Tour champion Teboho Sefatsa closed with a 71 to take sixth place.

Ruan Conradie was in the four-strong group giving chase at the start of the final day, but the Wingate Park rookie slipped out of contention with a double bogey at the ninth. However, a birdie at 18 for a 75 moved the current Money List leader to joint seventh at five under.

Roets fired a blistering eight under 64 to grab the lead in round one.

He held on to pole position after posting 71 in the second round and he headed into the final round with a one shot cushion over Wolter, Nel and the Conradie brothers.

The former North Texas University graduate picked up his first birdie at the par five fourth and took advantage of the par five ninth to turn in front on 11 under.

“Then I bogeyed 11 and dropped back in a four-way tie for the lead with Garth, Eric and Cameron,” said Roets. “To be honest, I got a little greedy and went flag-hunting instead of hitting a sensible shot and a poor swing landed me in the greenside bunker. I short-sided myself, so I hit the trap-shot out, took my medicine and walked off with a bogey.

“I told myself not to take unnecessary risks, especially since the wind really started to blow on the back nine. I had 110 metres to the flag at 12 after a good tee shot and I hit it eight feet behind the pin and holed the birdie putt to edge ahead again.”
Estiaan Conradie matched Roets with birdies at 12 and 14 and got within two of the lead with a birdie at the par four 16th.

“I didn’t take anything for granted, but when we both parred the short 17th, I knew I had a chance to win,” Roets said. “I hit a good drive down the fairway and left myself 256 metres to the pin. I took two-iron in, left it just short, but chipped it to four feet and holed the putt for the win.

“My first IGT Challenge Tour win was pretty intense, because it went to a play-off, but I can honestly say that this one was just as tough to pull through. I’m really pleased that I hung tough in round two to keep the lead and that I kept my head in the game to seal this second title.

“This one is for my coach Ryan Martin over in the States. I talk to him almost every day and send him videos to analyse, and nothing is ever too much trouble for Ryan. And I would like to thank the Eye of Africa Golf Estate; I really appreciate all their assistance over the last four months.”

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