21st October 2013 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Ryan takes pole at Wingate’s Race to Q-School

(Photo – Tyrone Ryan; credit CJ du Plooy)Tyrone Ryan

JOHANNESBURG, 21 October 2013 – Tyrone Ryan birdied the first three holes and never saw his pursuers again until he clocked in at pole position in the first round of the sixth IGT Tour’s Race to School at Wingate Park on Monday.

The Bryanston golfer picked up two more shots at the sixth and ninth to put the field on alert and completed the back nine in 36 to set the target at six-under-par 66.

He leads by two from Coert Groenewald and Hertzog Landman and is three shots clear of James Searson, Cilliers Naude and South Africa’s leading amateur, Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

Irene golfer JC Ritchie carded a two under 70 to finish alone in sixth.

Rookie professional Haydn Porteous, who claimed his first IGT Tour win at Houghton in July, is riding the bus at one-under-par 71 alongside IGT Race to Q-School winners Roberto Lupine and Brendan de Lange, as well as Sheldon Steyn, DK Kim from Koria and amateurs Andi Dill and Morne Wolmerans.

Twenty-four-year-old Ryan was delighted to lead the 115-man field, especially his BMG Classic campaign was cut short after just two rounds.

“I got off to a fast start, and that always helps,” Ryan said. “I just played simple tee to green golf and limited the mistakes and sunk the putts at the holes where I got close.

“I didn’t control the back spin as well on the back nine, but I still made two birdies, although I dropped a shot. I had a 10-footer for eagle at the 18th, but the putt just missed, so it actually could have been better.”

But Ryan says the round gave him a lot of insight into his battle on the Sunshine Tour.

He joined the paid ranks in 2010 and broke into the top 100 with a 98th place final ranking a year later, but his 2013 season has been a real bag of mixed fortunes. In 14 starts, the 24-year-old has only made three cuts and he currently ranks 14th with earnings of R39,855.

Eight months ago I won the IGT Classic at Glendower on 13 under par,” he explained.

“I shoot 70 in the first round and blow out with a 78 in the second to miss the cut by five. I mean, how does that happen? In the last 15 rounds on the IGT Tour, I’ve broken par 14 times. Why can’t I get that kind of result on the Sunshine Tour?”

Ryan said, in talking it through with his dad and coach Gavin Levenson, he finally understood that he plays to his potential on the IGT Tour but his head gets in the way on the Sunshine Tour due to the pressure he puts on himself to perform.

“I’m always relaxed on the IGT Tour, but when I get to the Sunshine Tour, I’m really stressed out,” he said. “I have to make money to keep my card. It is fine when it’s going well, but the moment I start dropping shots, I play against the leaderboard to try and make up the shots and that’s when it all goes south.”

The Wingate tournament in the sixth of a dozen IGT Tour Race to Q-School tournaments that are aimed at preparing professionals and aspirant amateurs for the 2014 Sunshine Tour Qualifying School.

Ryan plans to use as many of the remaining tournaments to prepare for Qualifying School, but he also wants to start applying his attitude at the IGT Tour events to his rounds on the Sunshine Tour.

“I need to take my consistency on the IGT Tour to the next level, so I’m going to work on a way to slow things down and to get out of my head until I get to the ball,” he said. “I want to win here this week and then I want to take ‘something’ to the Cape Town Open.”

FIRST ROUND SCORES (Top 20)

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; Amateurs indicated as AMA

66 – Tyrone Ryan

68 – Coert Groenewald, Hertzog Landman

69 – James Searson, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (AM), Cilliers Naude

70 – JC Ritchie

71 – Morne Wolmarans (AM), Sheldon Steyn, Dongkwan Kim, Haydn Porteous, Roberto Lupini, Brendan De Lange, Andi Dill (AM)

72 – Jacques Prinsloo, Jacques de Villiers, Jerry Steyn, Justin Turner, JC van Dommelen, Sam Botham, Dougie Meijer, Andrew Carlsson (AM)

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