5th March 2014 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Strydom pounces at IGT Wingate

Wingate3-5MarDay3 (115)JOHANNESBURG, 5 March 2014 – In a week where the elements have ruled the roost, Sunshine Tour pro Okkie Strydom took advantage of a break in the wet weather to haul in eight birdies and an eagle and capture the IGT Series Wingate.

The 29-year-old Kempton Park golfer dropped just two shots on his way to a seven-under-par 65 at Wingate Park Country Club and collected the winner’s cheque worth R12,000 in the 36-hole rain-shortened event with a total score of nine-under-par 135.

Pretoria rookies Tokkie van den Berg and Gideon Pienaar set the pace with a pair of 65s in Monday’s first round, but the wet weather derailed their second round challenge.

Van den Berg kept in touch, though, with a final round 69 to take sole second on eight under, but Pienaar slipped to sixth after signing off on a 71.

Meanwhile Sunshine Tour rookie Werner van Niekerk fired a flawless 65 to vault to joint third alongside England’s Neil Cheetham and John McClean from Northern Ireland, who both returned 67s.

The highlight of Strydom’s round was the eagle-two at the par-four seventh, which he described as one of the best executed shots of his career.

“When we got to my ball in the fairway at the seventh, my caddie Armando Botes said it would make him very happy if I just got it in the hole,” he explained. “I had 123 meters to the pin, so I told him I would hit it to 125 and spin it back in the hole, just for him.

“Neither of us could believe our eyes when the ball disappeared down the hole. But it was one of those days where everyone in the match played well and was reeling in birdies. It was great to post a nice low score for a change.”

Strydom is no stranger to the winner’s circle, having recorded back-to-back victories in the Mafekeng Pro-Am in 2012 and 2013 on the country’s premier development Tour. He also came close three times on the Big Easy Tour in 2011 and again in the Sunshine Tour’s Vodacom Origins Series in 2012.

Having reached a career high 12th on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit in 2011, with earnings of more than R670,000, the past two seasons proved tough and 2014 hasn’t been much better.

“The only cash to hit my bank account so far this year was the R10K I earned for a joint 59th finish at the Dimension Data Pro-Am, so I’m happy to pad my wallet again,” Strydom said.

“The qualifying rounds in the summer are absolutely brutal. If you are not at the top of your game and shooting low, low numbers, you just don’t make the cut. The next few weeks on the IGT Tour is all about getting my game back to the level I played at in 2011 and 2012.”

Strydom has also made some major adjustments off the course and is starting to see the results.

“To play golf at this level you have to have a great game, but the mental aspect and fitness are key to performing consistently well,” he said.

“I realised that I needed to change my exercise routine, so since January I have been working with a fitness trainer and my wife Marizanne, her sister and my caddie also work with us. We have been on a stringent fitness programme and it is starting to pay off.

“It was actually great to have our trainer, Chris Visser, out there to watch me win today and I’m glad I could do this for my wife, who has been such a rock the last couple of months.”

FINAL RESULT

135 Ockert Strydom 70 65

136 Tertius Van Den Berg 67 69

137 Werner Van Niekerk 72 65; John McClean (NIR) 70 67; Neil Cheetham (ENG) 70 67

138 Gideon Pienaar 67 71

139 Herman Minnie 73 66; Brandon Taylor (USA) 72 67; Aubrey Barnard 69 70

141 JC Ritchie 76 65; Francois Coetzee 72 69

142 Wynand Dingle 78 64; Ted Hendriks 73 69

143 Jaco Prinsloo 74 69; Coert Groenewald 74 69; JC van Dommelen 73 70; Wayne Stroebel 73 70; TJ Bekker 72 71; Zander Lombard (AMA) 71 72; Conway Kunneke 71 72; Mike Downes (ENG) 69 74

144 Micky Hough 73 71; Ruan Conradie (AMA) 72 72

145 Cilliers Naude 75 70; Juan Langeveld 75 70; Toto Thimba Jnr 74 71; Johan de Beer 73 72; Eddie Taylor 73 72; Otto van Greunen 73 72; Frans Strydom 73 72

146 Leon De Lange (AMA) 75 71; Anton Steenkamp (AMA) 78 68; Ph Mcintyre 74 72; Arno Pretorius (AMA) 74 72; Rae Mackie 79 67; Bryandrew Roelofsz 74 72; Reghard Neethling (AMA) 74 72; Ruan van Blerk (NAM) 74 72; Ruan Huysamen (NAM) 73 73

147 Christiaan Jonck 76 71; Rourke Van der Spuy 75 72; Andrew Light 75 72; Vincent Schaffler (AMA) 77 70; Jerry Steyn 76 71; Robert Herselman (AMA) 74 73; CJ du Plessis 72 75; Johan Smit (AMA) 72 75; Tyron Mc Comb 72 75

148 Antonio Rosado (POR) 76 72; Hyun Park (KOR) 76 72; Jacques Prinsloo 77 71; Werner Ferreira (AMA) 75 73; Raymond Mathonsi (SWA) 75 73; Dayne Moore (ZAM) 75 73; Jeandre Fourie 75 73; Sam Botham (ENG) 74 74; Jason Diab (AMA) 78 70; Leon Scheepers (AMA) 74 74; Lean Boezaart 71 77

149 Henry Featherstone (ENG) 76 73; Tino Khosa (AMA) 77 72; David Lamprecht (AMA) 78 71; Russel Franz (AMA) 74 75; Philip Geerts (AMA) (ITA) 72 77

150 Hano van der Walt 75 75; Willie Steyn 75 75; Jacques de Villiers 77 73; Danie Pretorius 78 72; Gian Scarola 79 71; Christoff Els (AMA) 80 70

151 Christiaan Pretorius 76 75; Thomas Lovett 76 75; Arthur Horne (SWA) 76 75; Stuart Smith (BOT) 75 76; Romano Saincic 77 74; Jaco Liebenberg 78 73

152 Ryan Gosling 76 76; Dwayne Coetzee 74 78; Gareth Akers (AMA) 74 78; Chris Haefele 80 72; Terence Boardman 81 71

153 Paul De Beer 75 78; Gustav Gouws (AMA) 81 72; Joubert Van Eeden (AMA) 81 72

154 Greg Bentley (ZIM) 77 77; Chris Ha Yeung (AMA) 79 75; Norman Beggs 72 82

155 Jonathan Waschefort 76 79; Murray Smit 78 77; Lucas Steyn 79 76; Alex Botha (AMA) 81 74; Wayne du Toit 81 74

156 Hanbo Lee 79 77; Eugene van Loggerenberg 81 75

157 Arno Bartholoma (AMA) 77 80; Greg Nofal (AMA) 81 76; Zak Van Zyl 83 74

158 Will Mathews (USA) 79 79; Tjaart Van Wyk (AMA) 83 75

159 Niel Meyer (AMA) 80 79; Philip du Preez 81 78; Fouche Botha (AMA) 84 75

160 Werner van der Walt 83 77

161 Pierre Viviers 81 80; Deon Bredenkamp 82 79; Michael Armstrong (AMA) 82 79

162 Stephan De Beer (AMA) 81 81; Julian de Wet (AMA) 83 79

163 Lourens Du Plessis (AMA) 83 80

164 PG van der Linde (AMA) 82 82; Nicolai Thomsen (AMA) (DEN) 85 79; Stefan Jordaan (AMA) 86 78

165 Slade Fick (AMA) 82 83; Albert Visser (AMA) 82 83; Etzard Grimbeek (AMA) 88 77

166 Tim Garner 82 84; Mark Fraser 85 81

167 Shane Heckler (AMA) 81 86

168 Ruan Botha 80 88

171 Ryan Wingrove (AMA) 85 86

176 Gustav Erasmus 89 87

180 James Benzien 93 87

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