15th July 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Van Eeden defeats the giants at RJK

RoyalJ&K15JulDay3 (223)(PHOTO – Joubert van Eeden; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 15 July 2015 – Sometimes you just don’t know what the golfing gods will serve up and it was definitely that kind of day for best friends Joubert van Eeden and Matthew Kent, who were playing two different legs of the IGT Tour, but ended up matching each other with one stroke come-from-behind victories on Wednesday.

Kent claimed his maiden pro win in the Mowbray Classic on the IGT Cape Tour and just an hour later, Western province amateur Van Eeden held off a host of professionals to break through for his maiden IGT Tour win in the Battle of the Giants at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington.

Van Eeden fired a four under 68 at the East Course to triumph on seven-under-par 209.

“This definitely deserves a double celebration and tomorrow’s headache is going to be absolutely worth it,” the 24-year-old Durbanville golfer said.

“I am so stoked about winning, but I am even happier for Matthew. He is a great golfer and friend, and we have all been waiting for this breakthrough from him.

“We practiced together for last week’s Wanna Be A Champion Academy Classic and we worked on a few things with his swing. He tied for sixth at Serengeti and I told him that he was close to a win.

“I think it is supercool that we did pulled it off on the same day.”

Van Eeden lagged four strokes behind 36-hole leader Bryandrew Roelofsz at his adopted home course.

Over the first nine holes, Roelofsz, Calvin Caldeira and Sunshine Tour veterans Jeff Inglis from England and Ryan Cairns from Zimbabwe all took a stab at the lead.

When Van Eeden started his back nine, he was one of the title contenders. He turned in five under – one stroke behind Roelofsz – after a birdie-birdie start and another birdie at eight and edged ahead when Roelofsz dropped two shots at 10.

“I just ignored the leaderboard and kept my head down,” Van Eeden said.

“At 14, I knocked in a 25-footer for birdie and pulled two strokes clear and made solid pars at 15 and 16. But the closer I got the end, the faster the adrenaline was pumping.

“My tee shot at 17 finished just 30 meters short of the green. I chipped it to eight feet and made the birdie to go three up on Drew.”

With his heart hammering away, Van Eeden rocked his tee shot down the fairway at the par-five closing hole, but indecision nearly cost him the title.

“I was between clubs, so I went with a pitching wedge and found the greenside bunker. I splashed out to eight feet, but then I made a complete hash of the birdie putt.

“First I pushed it three feet past, and then I missed the return. So I just tapped in for bogey and started the long wait out in the clubhouse.”

Roelofsz, already a two-time champion this season, reached the 18th in five under.

“Drew was on the green for two and had an eagle putt to force a play-off,” Van Eeden said.

“Unfortunately for him, his putt lipped-out, but he made the birdie putt. I don’t think you ever want to win with a bogey, but I’ll definitely take it today.”

Van Eeden also took his first prize, which included paid accommodation and entry fee for the Sishen Open next week. “I can’t compete for the R35,000 first prize because I am still an amateur, but I’m not going to miss the chance compete in a really strong field against a lot of Sunshine Tour pros.

“But first, I are going to commemorate this really special day with some long distance celebrating.”

Roelofsz closed with a 73 to finish in second on six under.

Caldeira signed off with a 71 to take third on five under, while Inglis returned a 72 to finish in fourth on four under. Cairns also registered a 72 to share fifth with three-time IGT Tour champion Michael Palmer, who closed with a 75.

FINAL RESULT

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

209 – Joubert Van Eeden (AMA) 69 72 68

210 – Bryandrew Roelofsz 66 71 73

211 – Calvin Caldeira 72 68 71

212 – Jeff Inglis ENG 72 68 72

213 – Ryan Cairns ZIM 70 71 72, Michael Palmer 73 65 75

214 – Arthur Horne SWA 68 77 69, Conway Kunneke 71 74 69, Michael Hollick 75 69 70, Bryce McCabe (AMA) 68 72 74

217 – Pieter Kruger 72 73 72

218 – Dayne Moore ZAM 75 70 73, Juan Langeveld 72 68 78

219 – Lean Boezaart 72 72 75, Matthew Vogel 71 70 78

220 – NJ Arnoldi 73 75 72

221 – Andi Dill (AMA) 76 75 70, Antonio Rosado POR 72 75 74, JC Ritchie 70 70 81

222 – Maxime Deffontaine (AMA) BEL 74 74 74, Angus Ellis-Cole (AMA) 72 75 75, CJ du Plessis 69 76 77, Justin Turner 69 72 81

223 – Wayne Stroebel 73 77 73, Ian Ansett (AMA) 73 75 75, Benjamin Follett-Smith (AMA) ZIM 74 74 75, David McIntyre (AMA) 77 71 75, Callum Mowat 72 73 78

224 – Jaco Prinsloo 78 71 75

225 – Louis Botha 78 72 75

226 – Siphiwe Siphayi 81 69 76, Christiaan Pretorius 80 72 74

227 – Byron Garvie 76 75 76, Albert Venter (AMA) 75 73 79, Ludovic Bax (AMA) MUS 72 81 74

228 – Andrew Williamson (AMA) 78 75 75, Mikhail Tewary 79 74 75, Michael Louth (AMA) 74 72 82

229 – Wayne du Toit 80 74 75

230 – Mohit Mediratta (AMA) KEN 82 75 73

231 – Rupert Kaminski (AMA) 72 77 82, Tyron Mc Comb 73 80 78

232 – Adriel Poonan (AMA) 76 77 79

233 – Dylan Lavagna-Slater (AMA) 78 71 84, Jared Burnard 75 77 81, Karl Lehmacher (AMA) 75 78 80

234 – Shaun van Tonder 77 77 80, Phil Minkley (AMA) (MUS) 78 79 77, David Rebelo (AMA) 77 81 76

235 – Amerigo Renieri (AMA) 76 71 88, Tyrone Lorusso 78 75 82, Keaton Slatter (AMA) 79 79 77

236 – Shalan Govender 73 80 83

237 – Hanko Bothma (AMA) 76 77 84, Jacques de Villiers 75 80 82, Christopher Hardy (AMA) MUS 75 82 80

238 – Owen Grobler 78 74 86

239 – Adriano Salgado (AMA) 78 78 83, Ruan Huysamen NAM 80 77 82, Craig Schraibman (AMA) 80 78 81

240 – Dylan O’Leary 81 77 82

241 – Brendan Blake (AMA) 81 75 85

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