29th October 2013 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Van Greunen pips Lombard at IGT Race to Q-School

(Photo – Otto van Greunen; credit CJ du Plooy)Otto van Greunen

PRETORIA, 29 October 2013 – Top South African amateur Zander Lombard will have to pull out all the stops in Wednesday’s final round to beat Otto van Greunen for the IGT Challenge Pro Tour’s Race to Q-School at Silver Lakes Country Club.

The 18-year-old amateur squandered his chances to share the lead with a double bogey finish for 70, while Van Greunen fired a five-under-par 70 to hit the front at 10-under-par 134.

The Maccauvlei professional will take a two shot cushion over the country’s number two ranked amateur into the final round, but he has a five shot edge on James Searson and Terence Boardman, tied for third after matching 70s.

Callum Mowat, who recently won the Swaziland Amateur Open Championship, carded a 69 to tie to finish fourth on four under while South Africa’s number one women’s amateur Nobuhle Dlamini, kept her top 20 standing alive with a 72.

But it is Van Greunen, firmly in the driver’s seat. The 21-year-old got off to a birdie start, reeled in three more to turn in four under and parred his way through the three holes on the back nine, before lightning forced the players off the course.

“We had a delay of nearly an hour,” Van Greunen said. “It was difficult to get going, but I birdied the par five (14) and the par three (16) Then I hit it out of bounds at the 17th and walked off with a double, so advantage over.

“At 18, I hit my tee shot left again, but I managed to get it back into the fairway, hit it to 10 foot and boxed the putt.”

Lombard, who fired an opening 66, opened bogey-birdie-birdie, but also turned in four under after back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh holes. The Pretoria amateur lost a birdie at the 11th to a bogey at the 12th, but after play resumed he birdied the 14th to threaten just one shot behind the pacesetter.

When Van Greunen dropped two shots at the 17th, the door was open for the amateur to catch him, but a wayward tee shot into the water shut the door immediately.

“He put his third into the drink, as well, got on the green for five, but two-putted for a double bogey,” Van Greunen said. “Zander is a great golfer b

“That’s why it’s good that he plays the IGT Tour; it will teach him patience. That’s why I played IGT and Big Easy this year; it’s where you learn to focus, stay patient and not get ahead of yourself.”ut perhaps he just got too eager at the last hole after I made that double.

The Veerening golfer just missed his Sunshine Tour card at Qualifying School in January, but elected to turn professional and take up a Big Easy Tour card. All season he has campaigned on the Big Easy and IGT Tours, with a lot of close finishes to show for it.

He knows patience and focus is key to nailing his maiden IGT Tour title on Wednesday.

“I’ve knocked a few times, but I come up short every time,” he said.

“Two shot might not be enough on Zander, but all I can do is give it my best shot.”

SECOND ROUND SCORES (Top 20 and ties)

All competitors RSA unless otherwise indicated; amateurs = AMA

134 – Otto van Greunen 67 67

136 – Zander Lombard AMA 66 70

139 – James Searson 69 70, Terence Boardman 69 70

140 – Callum Mowat AMA 71 69

141 – Jacques de Villiers 73 68

142 – Jonathan Waschefort 75 67, Mike Maile 73 69, Lean Boezaart 72 70, Carlos Arroyo AMA 72 70

143 – Justin Turner 74 69, Coert Groenewald 71 72

144 – Nathan Waghorn 72 72, TJ Bekker 72 72, Ted Hendriks 72 72

145 – Lukas Steyn AMA 75 70, Nobuhle Dlamini AMA 73 72, Frans Strydom 74 71, Brendan De Lange 72 73, Jerry Steyn 71 7

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