29th August 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Conradie sibs close the gap at Ruimsig
(PHOTOS – Estiaan and Ruan Conradie; credit CJ du Plooy)
ROODEPOORT, 29 August 2017 – The Conradie brothers from Pretoria continue to make a name for themselves as two of the hottest young prospects in South African golf as they stormed into contention in the Ruimsig Challenge on Tuesday.
Overnight leader Jason Roets held on to pole position with a one-under-par 71, but his bid for a second IGT Challenge Tour title could come under threat if the Conradie siblings start to run hot in the final round at Ruimsig Country Club.
Estiaan, who won three times as an amateur and twice in his rookie season, shot 68 while Ruan sizzled with a seven-under-par 65 to close the gap on Roets. The Wanna Be A Champion Academy pair tied for second with Pretoria amateur Eric Nel and Garth Wolter and the quartet will head into the final round in joint second on eight under 136.
Roets cancelled a birdie start with a drop at the third hole, but the Eikenhoff golfer reached 11 under with birdies at six, nine and 14 before he opened the door for the chasing pack to pounce with successive bogeys at 15 and 16.
Estiaan was also flawless through the first nine holes and turned six under. He birdied 12, cancelled a bogey at 13 with another gain at 14 and the 19-year-old finished in style with a birdie at closing par five to join the logjam in second.
Ruan was seven off the pace at the start of day two, but he reeled in a brace of birdies at the second and third and wiped out his only bogey at the fourth with another pair of birdies at eight and nine to move to four under. He joined the bus at eight under with an eagle at the par five 14th and birdies at 15 and 18.
Estiaan was first to break into the winner’s circle when the siblings from Wingate Park Country Club started campaigning on the country’s premier golf development circuit as amateurs last season, however, their famed rivalry reached a stalemate when after Ruan racked up his third pro title for the season in last week’s Wingate Challenge.
“Estiaan held the bragging rights for over than a year, so he will definitely be gunning for a win to take the lead again,” said Ruan, who leads the official Money List.
“I’ve learned a lot on the IGT Challenge Tour about putting myself in contention and coping with the pressure in front, especially in the last three months, so I back myself.
“We celebrate each other’s victories, but we are both very competitive and we both want to beat the other for that sixth trophy. The most important thing to remember in tomorrow’s final round is that we need to play the course, not each other, or we’ll both end up holding a short straw.”
Nel lagged two off the pace at the start of round two.
The Centurion amateur eliminated a double bogey at the second with three successive birdies and a gain at the seventh moved him to seven under. He followed a bogey at 11 with another trio of birdies at 14, 15 and 16, but ran into trouble again at the 17th. He followed an expensive six at the short hole with a birdie finish for his 70.
Wolter from Maccauvlei raced through the front nine in 31 strokes. He offset bogeys at 14 and 17 with birdies at 16 and 18 for a solid 67.