8th January 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Stapleton hits the front at Wanderers

Wandrs7-9JanDay1 (87)(PHOTO – Shaun Stapleton; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 8 January 2015 – Reigning Wanderers club champion Shaun Stapleton put on a putting masterclass at his home course to clinch the second round lead in the IGT Tour’s Q-School Prep on Thursday.

Stapleton carded an opening 67 to share the overnight lead with KwaZulu-Natal amateur Kevin Rundle, fellow amateur Duane Keun, England’s Toby Tree and KZN’s Christiaan van der Merwe.

The 39-year-old software developer enjoyed a birdie blitz en route to a seven-under-par 64 and a three stroke lead on 11-under-par 131.

Rundle carded a second successive 67 to stay in touch and tied for second on eight under 134 with Adrian Ford, who reeled in six birdies for a flawless 65.

Van der Merwe signed for a 68 to take fourth on his own, while Tree slipped to 140 after a 73.

Former Sunshine Tour winner Brett Liddle equalled Stapleton’s low round of the day to vault to joint third alongside IGT Tour winner Werner van Niekerk, who doubled up on 68s, as well as Ockie Strydom and Keun, who both registered 69s.

Stapleton doesn’t play the IGT Tour regularly, but decided to enter the Q-School Prep event for fun.

“I like to check out the standard and I have to say, I’m impressed with the depth of the players,” he said. “The scores are a lot lower than I expected and the talent out there is really impressive.”
What was impressive was the way the Wanderers amateur stormed out of the blocks with a birdie at the first and reeled in birdies at every alternate hole to reach the turn in five-under.

He picked up a brace of birdies at the 10th and 11th and boxed another birdie putt at the 13th to dip to eight under, but a bogey at the 14th abruptly ended his run.

“To be honest, I don’t play two and three round tournaments all that often anymore and I think I got a little tired,” Stapleton said. “I hit a poor tee shot and ended up dead in the trees. All I could do was hack it out and up-and-down for bogey.”
Stapleton needed only nine putts to complete the front nine in 31 strokes and was up to 14 putts when he dropped his first shot.

“The putter was red-hot and I took full advantage of it,” he said. “My irons were really good, too. I chipped in at the 11th for birdie and chipped it to give for a tap-in at the 15th.

“It’s a pity I couldn’t keep it going, because I really enjoyed myself out there. I used to play on the Sunshine Tour with Brett and it was great to see him also having a great one.

“I think it’s good for guys like myself, Brett, Ockie and such to play against the youngsters, because hopefully it puts things into perspective for them.

“Our amateurs are always in such a hurry to turn pro, but we lose far too many top golfers because they make the leap too soon.

“They drive it 30 to 40 meters past me out there, but I’m still giving them a hiding. If an old guy like me can beat them, they will hopefully realise that they need to get more experience, especially with course management.”

SECOND ROUND SCORES

131 – Shaun Stapleton (AMA) 67 64

134 – Kevin Rundle (AMA) 67 67, Adrian Ford 69 65

135 – Christiaan Van Der Merwe (AMA) 67 68

136 – Ockert Strydom 67 69, Werner Van Niekerk 68 68, Duane Keun 67 69, Brett Liddle 72 64

137 – Jaco Prinsloo 69 68

139 – Matthew Kent 70 69, Martin Dewhurst ENG 70 69, Tyrone Ryan 68 71

140 – Toby Tree ENG 67 73

141 – Pierre Du Preez (AMA) 71 70, Calvin Caldeira 70 71

142 – Stuart Smith BOT 72 70, Jason Diab (AMA) 71 71, Johan de Beer 72 70, Johann Germishuys (AMA) 73 69, Ruan Huysamen NAM 75 67, Tyron Mc Comb 68 74

143 – Lean Boezaart 73 70, Joubert Van Eeden (AMA) 69 74, Justin Turner 71 72, Ryan Clarke 71 72, Haydn Porteous 72 71, Pieter Kruger 73 70, Andre De Decker (AMA) 74 69, Rourke Van der Spuy 71 72

144 – Martin Rohwer (AMA) 74 70, NJ Arnoldi (AMA) 74 70, Shaun van Tonder 72 72

145 – Jason Froneman (AMA) 78 67, Arno Bartholoma GER 71 74, James McCormick 74 71, Dylan Docherty (AMA) 71 74

146 – Louis Taylor (AMA) 73 73, Neal Herman (AMA) 74 72

147 – Christof Appel 72 75

148 – Hanbo Lee 68 80, Otto van Greunen 75 73, Marco Scarola 76 72, Mike Downes ENG 74 74

149 – Herman Minnie 74 75, Rikus Oosthuizen AM) 77 72

150 – Bryce Myburgh 78 72, Christiaan Pretorius 78 72, Greg Bentley ZIM 75 75, Yngve Nilsson SWE 78 72, Andrew Carlsson (AMA) 72 78, Terence Boardman 72 78, Siphiwe Siphayi (AMA) 78 72

Missed the cut:-

151 – Drew Denyer (AMA) 77 74, Dougie Meijer 73 78, Sergio Dias 80 71

152 – Keegan Steyn (AMA) 80 72, Joshua Leo (AMA) 77 75, Brendan Britten (AMA) 76 76

153 – Fanie Wolmarans (AMA) 79 74

154 – Dwayne Coetzee 81 73, Henry Featherstone 81 73, Lourens Du Plessis 83 71

155 – Louwtjie J van Vuuren (AMA) 84 71, Jonathan Raphunga 79 76

157 – Rae Mackie 78 79, Dawie Labuschagne (AMA) 75 82, Zak Van Zyl 78 79

158 – Alwyn Vorster 81 77, Struan Currie (AMA) 80 78

160 – Coert Cronje (AMA) 83 77

162 – Eduard Van Den Berg (AMA) 85 77

163 – Morne Wolmarans (AMA) 81 82, Brandon Lydon (AMA) 83 80

166 – Elisha Markus 84 82

168 – Mike Slabber 82 86

DSQ – Jaco Mouton 71 DSQ

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