12th September 2017 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Sefatsa snatches pole at Services Challenge

(PHOTO – Teboho Sefatsa; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSHWANE, 12 September 2017 – Reinventing yourself is a work in progress, but Germiston’s Teboho Sefastsa is starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, especially after a seven-under-par 65 propelled him to the top of the pile in the second round of the IGT Challenge Tour’s Services Challenge.

“It’s been a long while since I’ve gone bogey-free around any golf course, let alone lead a tournament,” chuckled the former Sunshine Tour champion after his flawless effort at Services Golf Club in Pretoria. “It feels good; it feels really good.”

Sefatsa leads by two from current IGT Money List leader Ruan Conradie, fellow Pretoria golfer Tokkie van den Berg and Mpumalanga amateur Leon Visser, who returned rounds of 68 to sit at eight under.

Sefatsa was two off the pace after opening with a 69, but the Gary Player School of 2017 member only needed two holes to catch overnight leader Bennie van der Merwe.

“The birdie-birdie start definitely set me up for a positive day,” said the 34-year-old tournament leader. “I birdied all the par fives – two nine, 12 and 18 – which is always a bonus and I chipped in from just off the green at 10 after I misjudged the wind.

“I got a lucky bounce at 13 when I pushed my tee shot right into the trees. The ball hit a tree and finished in the fairway and I made sure of the birdie. I had a couple of chances on both nines, but overall I’m happy with the score. It’s progress in the right direction.”

Sefatsa has been winless since his breakthrough at the BMG Classic in 2012 at his home course, Glendower. By his own admission, his career was on the skids, and losing his card was a rude wake-up call.

“I had 10 good years on the circuit, and I feel like the next 10 years could be better, but somewhere in between things got stale,” he said. “Last year I took stock and I realised that there were a number of issues that needed attention.

“I’ve worked hard this year, made a lot of changes and I’m finding myself again here on the IGT Challenge Tour. I hit the ball great, but everything else that helps you to score, was missing. “I’ve always hit the ball well and my short game has been my strongest weapon, but now I’m bringing in physical conditioning, mental strength and all the other stuff to gain the desired result.

“One of my biggest weaknesses was the mental side of the game. My course management went out the window when I started to struggle or got ahead of myself. I started seeing Maretha Claassens and she has revolutionised the way I think on the golf course, now.

“My coach Mike de Villiers over at Modderfontein has been a god-send. He is so passionate and brilliant and he listens. He helped me to realise that I need to consider things like body shape, flexibility and mobility in my swing. You can have a one-size-fit-all swing for everyone. You also don’t have the same body all your life, so what worked at 24 isn’t working at 34.”

Sefatsa said that the IGT Challenge Tour gives him the stage where he can put it all into action.

“You come here with all the changes and new ideas and you’re in a pressure cooker,” he said. “Here is where you see if it works, or if it fails. So far, so good. It’s a work in progress, but I’m moving towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I don’t know the other lads well, but I’ve played with Ruan a couple of times now. Definitely a future prospect for SA golf. I like the way he plays, because he never backs down, and that’s the kind of pressure I’m looking for right now.”

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