14th August 2018 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Van der Merwe set for final round showdown at IGT Irene

Van der Merwe set for final round showdown at IGT Irene
(PHOTO – Peetie van der Merwe; credit CJ du Plooy)

PRETORIA, 14 August 2018 – Peetie van der Merwe fired a second round 69 to keep his bid for a maiden pro win alive, but the Mpumalanga golfer has company at the top in the IGT Challenge Tour #10 and two challengers hot on his heels in Pretoria.
The 24-year-old rookie from Middelburg fired an opening five-under 67 at Irene Country Club to co-lead the first round and an eagle finish on day two helped Van der Merwe to cling to pole position on Tuesday.
However, Limpopo amateur Gerhard Pepler carded a four-under 66 in the afternoon to grab a share of the lead on eight-under-par 136.
The top pair would do well to keep track of Ruan Groenewald, who moved within a shot of the lead with a 68 and Pretoria golfer Stefan Wears-Taylor.
The two-time UAE PGA Order of Merit champion raced around the championship layout in 64 strokes to match amateur Matthew Rossouw for the low round of the day. Matthews finished in the six-man bus at three under, but Wears-Taylor vaulted to third on six-under.
“It’s definitely going to get interesting, but I’m up for a good fight,” said Van der Merwe.
“Although I didn’t strike the ball as well as I did on Monday, I got around all right and I scrambled really well. Hopefully I can do the same in the final round and get the job done.”
Van Merwe’s errant tee shots landed him in the hazards at the par five second and penultimate hole, but he managed to salvage par at par five 17th before his eagle finish.
“The birdies at five, seven and nine kept the round going. I drove the green on 18 and boxed a six-footer for two to hang on to the lead. I’ve never led going into the final round on the IGT. It is new territory and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Pepler’s card also boasted an eagle, which came at the par five ninth.
“I hit my drive in the left rough, and pulled a gap-wedge left of the green, and faced a pretty tough down-hill pin, but I hit the chip shot perfectly and watched the ball disappear down the hole,” he said.
The 18-year-old from Ellisras birdied the second and fifth to offset a bogey at four. After turning three under, he rolled another birdie putt home at the par four 11th.
“I split the fairway and hit my second six feet behind the hole,” said Pepler. “I lipped out for eagle at 17, but got the birdie. I opted for my 18-degree utility iron off the tee and hit the green and two-putted from about 50 foot.
“I’m looking forward to the final round. It will be good experience for me. I enjoying playing the IGT Challenge Tour, because it’s a different kind of pressure. Competing with the pros is more of a mental test and it’s definitely helped me mature as a golfer.”

Second Round Scores
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA
136 – Peetie van der Merwe 67 69, Gerhard Pepler AMA 70 66
137 – Ruan Groenewald 69 68
138 – Stefan Wears-Taylor 74 64
139 – Arno Pretorius 71 68
140 – Thabiso Ngcobo 69 71, Aneurin Gounden AMA 67 73
141 – John McClean (NIR) 74 67, Matthew Rossouw AMA 77 64, Caylum Boon AMA 74 67, Kyle Barker 70 71, Marco de Beer 70 71, Clinton Grobler 69 72
142 – Bradley Diggeden AMA 73 69, Dylan Kok 74 68
143 – Michael-James Steyn 74 69, Cameron Moralee 74 69, Hendrikus Stoop 70 73, Clifford Thompson AMA 70 73, Leon Vorster 70 73
144 – Andrew Carlsson 70 74, Nicholas Souranis AMA 73 71, Liam Cloete AMA 76 68, Mitchell Lightfoot AMA 75 69
145 – Patric Dowling AMA 71 74, Conway Kunneke 72 73, Hanish Nagrani (ZIM) 73 72
146 – Francesca Cuturi 73 73, Richard Joubert 72 74, Jonathan Waschefort 76 70, Gareth Sargent AMA 72 74, Ruan Korb 71 75, Juran Dreyer 72 74
147 – Lejan Lewthwaite 72 75, Liam Labuschagne AMA 75 72, Zander Gous AMA 71 76, Matthew Hands AMA 77 70
148 – Neville Mitchell AMA 75 73, Divan de Villiers 76 72, Zethu Myeki AMA 77 71, Henning du Plooy AMA 77 71, Quintin Crause 73 75, Leon van der Walt AMA 75 73, Ruhan van Dijk 72 76, Keanu Pestana AMA 75 73, Aidan Boon AMA 71 77, Leon Visser 74 74, Bryce Myburgh 72 76
149 – Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) 74 75, Dylan Morton AMA 78 71, Steven le Roux AMA 71 78, Romano Saincic 74 75
Missed the cut:-
150 – Duan Nagel AMA 74 76
151 – Jared Botha AMA 77 74, Terry Smith 77 74, Divan Marais 77 74, JP Cooper AMA 76 75, Stephan du Toit 76 75
152 – Jaco van der Merwe AMA 79 73, Tanaka Mhere AMA (ZIM) 78 74, Dean du Plessis AMA 78 74, Warric Dyers 78 74, Leslie Grandet (MDG) 80 72, Samee Allie AMA 75 77, Louis Botha 77 75, Ricardo Towell 78 74, Stephane van Neer AMA (COD) 73 79
153 – Karl Lehmacher 76 77, Stephan Erasmus 79 74, Zabastian de Jager 82 71, Gilson Filho (BRA) 81 72, Tyron Taylor AMA 74 79, Tjaart van Wyk AMA 76 77, Keaton Slatter 75 78, Maverick Faber AMA (FRA) 76 77
154 – Lance Ellerbeck AMA 77 77, Byron Sampson AMA 76 78
155 – Morne van der Waltsleben AMA 78 77, Christiaan Greyling 76 79
156 – Chadd Drake AMA 81 75, Vickus Fleischman AMA 80 76, Marcel Scholtz AMA 75 81, Cameron Gunning 80 76, Dwayne Basson 82 74
157 – Bryce Webel AMA 78 79, Christiaan Pretorius 80 77, Cameron Gurr AMA 78 79, Stephen Forsyth AMA 77 80
158 – Alwyn Smith 79 79
159 – Michael Louth 80 79, Nqobani Ndabambi (ZIM) 78 81
160 – Paulo Serrao (POR) 84 76, Jack Kutumane 83 77
161 – Llewellyn Grobbelaar AMA 84 77
162 – Hendrik Janse Van Rensburg 88 74
163 – Lebo Mothabela AMA 86 77, Duan de Vries AMA 83 80
166 – Jesse Jacobs AMA 89 77
170 – Gerhard Botha AMA 90 80
177 – Louiz Pereira 92 85
187 – Gustav Erasmus 91 96
WDN – Marnus Barnard AMA 80 WDN
RTD – Michael Kok 79 RTD

Ends

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the IGT Challenge Tour.

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