12th February 2014 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Taylor triumphs at IGT Series Randpark

JOHANNESBURG, 11 February 2014 – Top South African amateur Louis Taylor banished the demons of a missed opportunity at the Randp10-12FebDay3 (153)Sunshine Tour Qualifying School with a sturdy final round at Randpark to claim the first IGT Series on Wednesday.

Although the Free State golfer battled a balky putter over all three rounds, he grinded out a closing one-under-par 71 at the Bushwillow course for a two shot victory on 10-under-par 206.

In the end it was England’s Henry Featherstone – not his compatriot and first and second round leader Toby Tree – who claimed the runner-up spot with a final round 70.

IGT Tour regular Pieter Kruger produced a 68 to take third on seven under, while Tree slipped to fourth on six under after what the Englishman described as “a bad, bad day at the office 76”.

Local pros Ted Hendriks (68) and Otto van Greunen (71) shared fifth with England’s Sam Botham (67) and American Brandon Taylor (73) on four under.

The week has been a revelation for Taylor, who just a month ago, joined hundreds of hopefuls in Bloemfontein to attempt the journey to the paid ranks. Unexpectedly though, it wasn’t Louis, but twin brother Eddie who finished the 90-hole test with a card in hand.

“I was absolutely gutted after missing the cut-off mark, but hindsight is always 20/20,” said Taylor. “I wasn’t ready, and I definitely wasn’t prepared. I realised that even more when I missed the cut at the South African Stroke Play.”

Desperate to get the rust off and his competitive edge back, Taylor had pretty low expectations when he entered the first event in this year’s IGT Series.

“I just wanted to get everything going properly again, especially since we have the annual Leopard Trophy Test against the Scots coming up next week and then the Sanlam SA Amateur,” said Taylor. “I made the semi-finals of the SA Match Play last year and I hope to go the full distance this year, but I need my game to be sound.”

The last 18 was certainly not pretty, with two bogeys sandwiched around an eagle on the front nine, and two more bogeys trading punches with three birdies on the home stretch, but it was good enough to take him to the top spot.

“I was a stroke behind Toby and I knew it would be a tough day,” he said. “It turned into quite a scrappy round, but I managed to break par and stay in the fight to the end. That’s good enough for me, because I was just looking to get myself into some kind of fighting form.

“My game is certainly nowhere near 100%, but I can tell you that this IGT Tour victory has done a lot for my confidence. I was worried about letting the SAGA and my team mates down next week, but performance has given me the confidence I need to take to Leopard Creek.”

Featherstone from Manchester dropped just one shot on his way to taking second, and was equally delight to earn his career first cheque on the country’s premier development Tour.

“I came out to South Africa to play the Qualifying School and ended up missing by three shots,” the 24-year-old explained.

“We hooked up with Sam (Botham) and Rob (Menzies), who told us about the IGT Tour and said we should give it a go. I’ve really enjoyed my first start and I’m obviously delighted with my result, but even before this finish, Rob and I decided we’re staying out here until May.

“When you’ve got a great climate, great golf courses and a Tour that is as well run as any other mini-tour we’ve played in Europe, you’d be stupid not to use the opportunity. So we’ll be sticking around give the IGT Tour a full go.”

FINAL RESULT

206 – Louis Taylor (AMA) 69 66 71

208 – Henry Featherstone ENG 69 69 70

209 – Pieter Kruger 69 72 68

210 – Toby Tree ENG (AMA) 64 70 76

212 – Sam Botham ENG 72 73 67, Ted Hendriks 71 73 68, Otto van Greunen 69 72 71, Brandon Taylor USA 70 69 73

213 – Terence Boardman 71 72 70, DK Kim KOR 73 69 71

214 – Coert Groenewald 72 72 70, Danie Pretorius 69 74 71, Tyron McComb 72 70 72, Jonathan Waschefort 74 67 73

215 – Neil Cheetham ENG 70 75 70, Rae Mackie 70 72 73, Duane Keun 67 71 77

217 – Jacques Prinsloo 74 71 72

218 – Conway Kunneke 77 69 72, Werner Van Niekerk (AMA) 76 70 72, Rudi Armstrong (AMA) 77 74 67, Matthew Kiewitz (AMA) 74 69 75, John McClean 73 69 76

219 – Hyun Park KOR 73 75 71, Werner Van Wyk (AMA) 76 70 73, Herman Minnie 71 74 74, Jerry Steyn 75 79 65

220 – Vincent Schaffler (AMA) 73 74 73, Chris Haefele 73 73 74, Dylan de Beer 76 73 71, Kerwin Marais 76 75 69, Craig Dreyer 76 68 76, Michael Armstrong (AMA) 76 75 69, Gareth Akers (AMA) 73 71 76, Calvin Caldeira (AMA) 71 71 78

221 – David Riddle 78 72 71, TJ Bekker 77 73 71

222 – Arno Pretorius (AMA) 73 74 75, Ruwan Combrink 73 74 75, David Lamprecht (AMA) 77 69 76, Gian Scarola 76 69 77

223 – Jason Diab (AMA) 70 77 76, Gustav Gouws (AMA) 75 73 75, Frans Strydom 77 74 72

224 – Jeandre Fourie 71 78 75, Keegan Steyn (AMA) 71 73 80, Philip Geerts ITA (AMA) 74 76 74, Graham van den Berg (AMA) 76 76 72

226 – Jacques de Villiers 75 74 77, Robert Herselman (AMA) 80 71 75, Leon De Lange (AMA) 78 73 75

227 – Hanbo Lee KOR 75 72 80

228 – Byron Garvie 77 77 74, Tjaart Van Wyk (AMA) 79 75 74, Lucas Steyn 76 78 74

229 – Dean Geyer 79 74 76, Christiaan Pretorius 78 75 76

230 – Mike Quinn 73 77 80, Werner Lourens (AMA) 78 75 77, Willie Steyn 74 80 76

231 – Adriel Poonan (AMA) 75 75 81, Wayne Stroebel 75 77 79, Shaun van Tonder 78 76 77

232 – Deon Bredenkamp 76 76 80, Clinton Cheia (AMA) 78 75 79, Eduard Van Den Berg (AMA) 77 77 78

233 – Niel Meyer (AMA) 77 77 79

234 – Wayne du Toit 76 76 82

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