5th July 2017 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Roets tops McIntyre in Killarney Challenge play-off

(PHOTO – Jason Roets; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 5 July 2017 – Jason Roets defeated amateur David McIntyre at the first extra hole to seal a maiden IGT Challenge Tour victory in the Killarney Challenge on Wednesday.

The pair entered the final round at Killarney Country Club in a tie for fourth with Pretoria amateur Eric Nel, trailing overnight leader Callum Mowat by two shots.

The Eikenhof rookie produced five birdies on the back nine for a five-under-par 65, but McIntyre matched his target and the pair ended regulation play tied for the lead on nine under 201. Roets nailed the victory with a superb birdie on the par-four 18th.

Nel closed with a 68 to finish alone in third on six under.

Mowat finished a further two shots back after signing for 72, while a 76 earned Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigner Nobuhle Dlamini a share of seventh alongside fellow Gary Player Class of 2017 member Makhetha Mazibuko and amateur Rupert Kaminski, home for the holidays on his summer break from Oklahoma City University.

Roets, who graduated from North Texas University in 2015 with a sports marketing degree, is no stranger to the IGT Challenge Tour.

“I used to play some events during his summer breaks from,” said the 24-year-old Roets. “After I graduated I joined my coach Ryan Martin at Stone Briar Country Club and played some of the mini-tours in the area.

“When I got back from the States at the start of May, I got stuck in straightaway. I haven’t made up my mind which Qualifying School I’m going to shoot for, but I wanted to stay competitive. The standard on the IGT Challenge Tour equals anything I played in the USA. It’s very competitive and we play some great courses. After coming up short at the Waterkloof Challenge in May, I really wanted this one and I’m really pleased I took it to the finish line.”

McIntyre gained the early control with three birdies in his last four holes on the front nine.

The Eagle Canyon golfer had a two shot cushion over Roets, who mixed birdies at one and five with a bogey at eight, and led by one from Mowat, whose campaigned derailed with a double bogey at the par-four 11th.

Roets holed a 20-footer for birdie at 10 to edge closer, but after both players birdied 11 and parred 12, McIntyre made five straight pars while Roets went on the rampage.

“I played decently on the front nine and got it going early, but the bogey at eight was disruptive,” said Roets. “I got some good momentum with the birdies at 10 and 11, though, and I hit two good shots into 13 and holed the birdie putt to draw level with David. We had 174 metres to the pin at 14 with the wind was into us. I took an eight-iron and hit it seven metres left of the pin and got the birdie and the birdie at 15 gave me a two shot lead.”

Roets still had the two shot cushion when he blocked himself in the trees on the left with his tee shot down the 18th, while McIntyre mailed his straight down the middle. The amateur’s approach pitched short of the pin and spun back, leaving him with a tough 30-footer for birdie.

“I hit my second short and putted up to four feet, but my par putt lipped out,” said Roets. “David holed a monster for birdie to force the play-off. We both hit great tee shots on the second trip down 18. David’s approach pitched and spun back again to the front of the green.

“I’d gone with a two-iron off the tee and hit a soft 50-degree wedge just sort of the pin and the ball hit the flag and spun back two feet. He missed his birdie putt and I just had to tap in for the win. I told myself that I needed to give myself a good opportunity in the play-off, which I did.”

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