18th August 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Swart and Kruger to face off at RJK

(PHOTO 1 – Simon Kruger / PHOTO 2 – Juan Swart; credit CJ du Plooy)

RoyalJ&K17-19AugDay1 (38)JOHANNESBURG, 18 August 2015 – Juan Swart and Simon Kruger are locked atop the TGSE Academy Classic leaderboard after a lively second round contest, but the pals will have to put their friendship aside when they go head-to-head in the title fight at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Wednesday.

Swart from Centurion Country Club played the East Course in 70 strokes to protect his three shot overnight lead, while GFG Academy’s Kruger reeled in four birdies and an eagle for a 67 to share the top spot at five under 139.

Both players have a lot at stake as still Simon pursues a maiden IGT Tour title, while Swart is hunting a second victory after his breakthrough on the country’s premier golf development Tour in June.

“It’s going to be a cracker of a final round,” said Simon, better known as Krappie.

“I came into the second round spoiling for a fight. I set myself a target of five under and after the eagle at eight, I knew I could get there.

“It was great fun playing with Juan, who is a very good mate of mine. There was a lot of banter and joking going on, and a few side bets, but I kept my focus and achieved my goal for the round.

RoyalJ&K17-19AugDay1 (40)“After the round we heard that Pieter Kruger, one of our regular IGT Tour players, broke through for his first Big Easy Tour win at Irene, so the day got better and better.

“And that reminds me, Juan still owes me a beer for that eagle.”

Simon opened with five solid pars before tapping in for his first birdie at the sixth.

After par at seven, he thinned his tee-shot at the par five eighth, but hit a superb knock-down three-wood from 243 meters to set up the eagle opportunity.

“I had 243 metres to the pin and that three-wood was all over the flag,” he said. “The ball finished six feet behind the hole and rolled it in the middle of the cup. Unfortunately I lost a shot at nine, but I was very positive after turning two under.”

The 22-year-old Thabazimbi native added further gains at 11, 16 and 18 for low round honours.

Swart enjoyed a birdie start and kept control with birdies at the seventh and eighth to turn six under.

“I snap-hooked my tee shot at 10, had an ugly approach and the par-putt lipped out and then I left my par-putt in the teeth of the hole at 14 for another bogey, but those were the only bad holes on the day,” the Port Elizabeth native said.

“It was nice to knock one in for birdie at 18 to tie Simon. We had two great rounds and if things go Krappie’s way on Wednesday, I would still be happy, because it is long overdue.”

The pair will start the final round three strokes clear of amateurs CJ Levey and Matthew Adams and four strokes ahead of joint overnight leader Soweto’s Godfrey Mphaga and Thriston Lawrence.

Levey from Centurion signed off with a pair of birdies for a 70 and Adams shot  68 to tie at two under.

Mphaga offset a spate of bogeys with a hat-trick of birdies for a 74, while Lawrence from Nelspruit collected birdies at 16 and 18 to come home in 69 strokes.

Meanwhile GFG Academy’s Carrie Park held on to the lead in the women’s field.

The 2015 Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion doubled up on 76s to tie for 19th on eight over.

Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia returned a 74 to finish two strokes back while fellow Sunshine Ladies Tour regular Michelle Leigh matched Park’s 76.

SECOND ROUND SCORES

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as (AMA):

139 – Simon Kruger 72 67, Juan Swart 69 70

142 – CJ Levey (AMA) 72 70, Matthew Adams (AMA) 74 68

143 – Godfrey Mphaga 69 74, Thriston Lawrence 74 69

144 – Joubert van Eeden (AMA) 73 71

145 – Niel Meyer 75 70, Matthew Vogel 73 72

146 – Bryce McCabe 74 72

147 – Amerigo Renieri (AMA) 74 73, Christopher de Beer (AMA) 75 72

148 – Derryn Mitri (AMA) 74 74, Morne Wolmarans (AMA) 73 75

149 – Christiaan Pretorius 73 76

150 – Stephan Erasmus (AMA) 77 73, Hein Dreyer (AMA) 79 71

151 – Danie Pretorius 74 77

152 – Vico Kuhn 79 73, Carrie Park (AMA) 76 76, Marc van Deventer (AMA) 78 74, Michael Kok (AMA) 74 78

153 – Duan Nagel (AMA) 79 74, Herman Minnie 78 75

154 – Jan-Louis Nel (AMA) 76 78, Bonita Bredenhann NAM 80 74, Nikola Uskokovic (AMA) 81 73, Joshua Leo (AMA) 77 77

155 – Michael Armstrong (AMA) 76 79, Keaton Slatter (AMA) 74 81

156 – Maxime Deffontaine (AMA) BEL 78 78, Wicus Bezuidenhout (AMA) 75 81

157 – Ryan Wingrove (AMA) 79 78, Jacques De Villiers (AMA) 79 78

158 – Vincent Mienie (AMA) 79 79

159 – Nathan Holiday 81 78, Michael Petersen (AMA) 76 83

160 – Dwayne Coetzee 83 77, Michelle Leigh 84 76, Ricardo Towell 76 84, Graham van der Merwe 75 85, Cole Dodgen (AMA) 79 81

Missed the cut:-

161 – Michael Jooste (AMA) 83 78

164 – Adam Baker (AMA) 79 85

165 – Adriano Salgado (AMA) 86 79, Richard Tsai (AMA) 83 82

167 – Keanan Aysen (AMA) 85 82

170 – Jabu Radebe 83 87

172 – Heinrich Venter (AMA) 82 90

178 – Rob Veldhuizen (AMA) 89 89

182 – Gary Jutzen (AMA) 92 90

WDN – Gregory Beltramo 84 WDN

RTD – Dougie Meijer 76 RTD, JP Basson (AMA) 94 RTD

Latest Big Easy IGT Golf News