1st December 2014 | IGT Challenge Tour
Amateurs blossom in IGT Q-School Race at Centurion
TSHWANE, 1 December 2014 – Nothing like a little home cooking to add spice to a home game and that’s the recipe for success Gauteng North amateurs Philip Kruse and Ross Sinclair rustled up to finish within striking distance of Coert Groenewald in the first round of the IGT Tour’s Race to Q-School at Centurion Country Club on Monday.
While the seasoned professionals bemoaned the tough course set-up, the young guns unceremoniously pulled within one shot of the first round pacesetter, who took pole position on seven-under-par 65.
Sinclair felt right at home as he blasted to a blemish-free six-under-par 66 at this home course, while Kruse from Woodhill Country Club matched his target with four birdies and eagle.
As if the amateur pair is not pressure enough, Sunshine Tour campaigner Ockie Strydom – a three-time IGT Tour winner this season – is also in the mix at six under.
Gauteng amateur Matthew Spacey rounded out the top five with a one-bogey 67.
“We are heading into the last couple of events in the Race to Q-School series,” said IGT Tour commissioner, Cois du Plooy.
“Around this time I set the course up pretty tough to make sure the players who want to turn pro at the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School in January are ready for the task ahead
“We played all the holes off the back tips and I tucked the pins in impossible spots, and it is a measure of the depth of the amateur game in South Africa to see three amateurs in contention.”
Sinclair, Spacey and Kruse all came into the event on the back of strong performances over the last three weeks.
While Kruse tied for fifth in the recent Harry Oppenheimer Trophy, Sinclair and Spacey both enjoyed a good spell on the country’s premier development Tour.
Sinclair tied for sixth at Benoni Country Club and joint third at the Wanderers last week, while Spacey claimed victory in the Race to Q-School at Wanderers a week after he tied for fourth in Benoni.
Kruse was delighted to turn in two under, and credited his caddie for the eagle start on his back nine.
“We all teed off the 10th and the set-up was about as tough as it could get,” the 19-year-old said.
“I only had two birdies, but I was pretty impressed with myself finishing the first nine bogey-free. I hit a pretty decent drive at the first, but I ended up in the left rough. I wanted to take a 5-iron, but Kraai gave me a four-iron. I went with it, hit it to 12-foot and made the putt for eagle.
“I pitched it to 20 feet at the fifth and boxed the birdie putt and nearly holed out at the ninth for another eagle. It was a very solid round and it’s nice to be in contention with the pros.
“Our amateur calendar is pretty busy, but I love Centurion, so I always try to play the IGT Tour when they tee it up here. I’ll play Wingate next week and the warm-up events in January and hopefully all the practice will pay off at Q-School.”
FIRST ROUND SCORES
65 – Coert Groenewald
66 – Rosswell Sinclair (AMA), Ockert Strydom, Phillip Kruse (AMA)
67 – Matthew Spacey (AMA)
68 – Herman Minnie, Duane Keun, CJ du Plessis
69 – Conway Kunneke
70 – Lean Boezaart, Breyten Meyer (AMA), Antonio Rosado POR
71 – Joubert Van Eeden (AMA), Stefan Labuschagne, Jacquin Hess, Burger Heckroodt (AMA), Pieter Kruger, Tristen Strydom (AMA), Hendrikus Stoop (AMA), Michael Scholz, Armandt Scholtz (AMA), Otto van Greunen
72 – Ruan Huysamen NAM, Arno Bartholoma GER, Jacques de Villiers, Christiaan van der Merwe (AMA), Calvin Caldeira, Jonathan Waschefort, Jaco Mouton, Juan Swart, Carrie Park KOR (AMA), Bryn Flanagan
73 – Dwayne Coetzee, Khaya Jika, Eric Nel (AMA), Justin Levy, Teaghan Gauche (AMA), Pierre Viviers, Rupert Kaminski (AMA)
74 – Jason Ackerman (AMA), Glen de Waal NAM, Stephan Erasmus (AMA), Hano van der Walt, Iliska Verwey, Jason Froneman (AMA), Philip Geerts ITA (AMA), Tyron Mc Comb, Siphiwe Siphayi (AMA), Andi Dill (AMA), Shaun van Tonder
75 – David Lamprecht, Mark Fraser, Pedro August (AMA), Mark Fairbank (AMA), Robert Herselman FRA, Lourens Du Plessis, Lucas Steyn, Michael Schutz (AMA)
76 – Quintin Crause (AMA), Daniel Slabbert (AMA), Albert Visser (AMA), Terence Boardman, Matthew Adams (AMA), Ryan Birnie, David Meyers (AMA)
77 – TJ Bekker, CJ Levey (AMA), Pieter Van der Linde
78 – Matt Milligan (AMA), Zak Van Zyl, Ryan Wingrove (AMA), Dylan Docherty (AMA), Michael Kok (AMA), Simon Kruger (AMA), Jerry Steyn, Michael Armstrong (AMA), Werner Van Niekerk, Jason Reardon (AMA), Divan Marais (AMA)
79 – Alex Botha (AMA), Leon Scheepers (AMA), Rhoan Gardiner
80 – Slade Fick (AMA), Christiaan Pretorius, Victor Nhlapho, Murray Smit
82 – Etzard Grimbeek (AMA), David Marks (AMA)
83 – Michael Petersen (AMA)
84 – Julian de Wet (AMA), Benjamin Cobbett (AMA)
86 – Ralph Landman
89 – Shaun Bernstein (AMA)
109 – Charles Grobler (AMA)
WDN – Dylan de Beer
DSQ – Marais Visagie