13th March 2014 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Strydom trumps Thimba for IGT ERPM win

Strydom trumps Thimba for IGT ERPM win

Strydom trumps Thimba for IGT ERPM win

Photo – Okkie Strydom; credit CJ du Plooy

BOKSBURG, 12 March 2014 – Okkie Strydom claimed his second successive IGT Pro Challenge Tour title when he beat fellow Sunshine Tour pro Toto Thimba at the third hole of a sudden-death play-off to win the IGT Series ERPM on Wednesday.

Both players ended the regulation 54 holes on 13-under-par 203 at the ERPM Golf Club, but after two trips down the 18th, the Kempton Park golfer ended Thimba’s title run with a birdie at the par-four first to claim victory.

Strydom was pleased to have his own game back to form, but added that he was impressed with Thimba’s shot-making, especially in the play-off.

“I just played really solid golf out there,” said Strydom. “I managed to wipe out the bogeys on the front nine, I scrambled well to save par every time I got into trouble off the tee and I managed to come home with no dropped shots.”

“The first time down 18, we both made regulation pars, but the second time around, Toto found the bunker and hit an incredible bunker shot to a foot and nailed to putt to keep us tied.

“Going down the first, I hit my tee shot down the first fairway and my approach landed about two feet from the hole. Toto went bunker to bunker, but then he hit another fabulous trap shot to a foot. The way he was playing, I knew I had to box the putt, or we’d be out there for another 18 holes.”

Thimba had set up a title chance with a superb eight-under-par 64 in the second round.

After five gains and two bogeys, he was still in good shape at the turn, but the Silver Lakes pro let the chasing pack in with a double bogey at the par-four 10th and a lone birdie at the 17th for a final round 71.

And Strydom was among the challengers.

Just a week ago, the 29-year-old stormed through the field with a final round 65 to capture the rain-shortened IGT Series Wingate. Once again, Strydom made quick work of the five-shot deficit.

After a birdie start, he erased a bogey at the third with a birdie at the next hole and enjoyed a run of three birdies from the sixth. He took care of a drop at the ninth with a birdie at the 13th and reeled in two more birdies at the 15th and 17th for a six-under-par 66.

“I really believe my recent form is down to a change in putters and my improved fitness,” Strydom said. “I had a shocking season on the Sunshine Tour last year and I knew I had to change things around. So I got myself a fitness trainer in January.

“It really true what the top golfers say. The fitter you are physically, the better your mental game becomes. I don’t get tired or side tracked out there anymore and I don’t make stupid decisions.

“I also went back to my Titleist putter, because it just lies better and my feel is much better. The putts are definitely starting to drop with more regularity again.”

Meanwhile top SA amateur Zander Lombard and Sunshine Tour pro Pieter Kruger also looked dangerous.

Lombard looked set to claim his fourth IGT Tour title after notching seven birdies, but his flawless run came to an abrupt halt with a three-putt bogey at the par-four 16th. Lombard birdied the 17th for a 65 and a share of third with Kruger, who returned a 69.

First round leader JC Ritchie signed for a 66 to claim a share of fifth alongside England’s Henry Featherstone (67) and Werner van Niekerk (69).

The round of the day belonged to Sunshine Tour rookie Andrew Light.

The Southern Cape golfer pocketed the R500 lowest round cheque after following a birdie at the fourth with a spectacular run of four birdies and an eagle from the 10th and another brace of birdies at the 17th and 18th to post a blemish-free eight-under-par 64.

FINAL RESULT

Herewith the final result from the IGT Series ERPM, played at the par-72 ERMP Golf Club on Wednesday, 12 March 2014; all competitors RSA unless otherwise specified and amateurs = (AMA)

203 – Ockert Strydom 71 66 66

203 – Toto Thimba Jnr 68 64 71

204 – Zander Lombard (AMA) 69 70 65, Pieter Kruger 69 66 69

205 – JC Ritchie 65 74 66, Henry Featherstone ENG 71 67 67, Werner Van Niekerk 68 68 69

206 – Andrew Light 68 74 64

207 – Tyrone Ferreira 68 72 67

209 – Francois Coetzee 70 74 65, Shaun Smith 71 71 67, Wayne Stroebel 72 70 67, Brett Liddle 69 70 70

210 – Roberto Lupini 70 72 68, Alex Haindl 68 71 71, Jerry Steyn 70 69 71, Juan Langeveld 70 68 72

211 – Hyun Park KOR 70 70 71, Thomas Lovett 69 68 74

212 – Antonio Rosado POR 71 71 70, Shaun Norris 75 67 70, Jaco Prinsloo 73 71 68, Ruan Huysamen NAM 68 73 71, Herman Minnie 70 71 71, Brandon Taylor USA 71 70 71, Ph Mcintyre 71 70 71

213 – Mike Downes ENG 69 73 71, Jacques de Villiers 72 70 71, Gian Scarola 68 71 74

215 – Ruan van Blerk 70 73 72, Sam Botham ENG 72 73 70

216 – Andi Dill (AMA) 74 70 72, Jason Froneman (AMA) 73 72 71, TJ Bekker 72 73 71, Coert Groenewald 71 75 70

217 – Terence Boardman 70 73 74, Lean Boezaart 72 73 72, Philip Geerts ITA (AMA) 69 72 76, Michael Scholz 79 70 68

218 – Jason Diab (AMA) 74 71 73, Rourke Van der Spuy 72 73 73, Rae Mackie 73 73 72, Jacques Prinsloo 71 75 72, Steven Ferreira 74 74 70, John McClean NIR 72 77 69

219 – Neil Cheetham ENG 75 72 72, Frans Strydom 75 73 71, Angus Ellis-Cole (AMA) 74 76 69

220 – Keegan Steyn (AMA) 72 70 78

221 – Johann Mostert 73 73 75, David Lamprecht (AMA) 77 70 74, Johan de Beer 77 70 74

222 – Peter Wilson ENG 72 74 76

223 – Reghard Neethling (AMA) 74 74 75, JC van Dommelen 74 74 75, Conway Kunneke 77 72 74

225 – Dayne Moore ZAM 77 70 78

228 – Raymond Mathonsi SWZ 71 78 79

229 – Nico Du Buisson (AMA) 73 75 81, Jeandre Fourie 73 77 79

234 – Johan Smit (AMA) 72 77 85

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