8th March 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour

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7th March 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour

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Thriston Lawrence winning put

Thriston Lawrence winning IGT Race to Q-School #18
Centurion Country Club
28 (more…)

2nd March 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour

Lawrence waltzes to Race to Q-School win

2017R2QS#18_Cois_Thriston(PHOTO – Thriston Lawrence and IGT Challenge Tour commissioner Cois du Plooy; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSHWANE, 1 March 2017 – Thriston Lawrence saved his best for last and set the seal on a three shot victory when he posted the lowest round of the day at Centurion Country Club in the final event of the IGT Challenge Tour’s Race to Q-School Series on Wednesday.

A final round 65 that saw him stave off seven-time IGT Challenge Tour winner Coert Groenewald and a charging David Ashley from England, also landed the top ranked former amateur prodigy a maiden title on the country’s premier golf development circuit.

Lawrence’s 16 under par total proved insurmountable for the chasing pack and the timing could not be more fortunate for the 24-year-old from Nelspruit.

“I’ll be heading to the First Stage of the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School next week with a lot more confidence now,” Lawrence said.

“It’s been two years since I won on the Mena Tour and I really hoped that I would win at least one of the four Race to Q-School tournaments I played before Qualifying School. To win the last one is just awesome. I got the job done and I played really solid this week.”

Lawrence missed the first four Race to Q-School events of the season to undergo laser surgery and he was extremely pleased with the result.

“I had surgery done on my eyes so I could stop wearing glasses, and the difference is incredible. I really felt the benefits when we played in pouring rain at Randpark last week. I feel a lot more confident over the putter and it has impacted positively on my overall game.”
Starting the final round three shots behind Jonathan Waschefort, Lawrence got off to the ideal start with three birdies in his first four holes.

He three-putted the par four 14th, but erased the bogey up with a brace of birdies at 15 and 16 to reach the turn in 32 strokes. He was one stroke clear of Waschefort starting his back nine and he pushed his advantage to two shots with a birdie at the opening par five.

“I followed a run of three birdies at three, four and five with a bogey at eight, but I was well clear by then and just had to wait it out in the clubhouse,” Lawrence said.

Groenewald carded a 69 to finish in second at 13 under and Ashley mixed seven birdies with a lone bogey for a 66 and third place on 12 under.

“I played really well for a 65 in the first round, but the second round was a bit of a scramble,” Lawrence said. “My putter was hot throughout, though, and that always gives you an extra bit of confidence. My ball striking was a lot better today, especially the longer irons and I hit 14 greens in regulation. To win going into Qualifying School against some very experienced players is fantastic.

“I’m playing the First Stage Qualifier at Killarney next week and I was able to take a good look at the course during the Race to Q-School and also at Randpark, where we are playing the Final Stage.

“I really want to thank Cois (du Plooy) from the IGT Challenge Tour for the Race to Q-School Series because my game is really competitive right now and the confidence is there. I also owe a debt of gratitude to my coach Peter Berman down in Knysna and my new management company (Modest! Management) for giving me incredible support.”

28th February 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour

Waschefort under pressure as Q-School Race wraps up

CenturionDay1 (101)(PHOTO – Tristen Strydom; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSHWANE, 28 February 2017 – Jonathan Waschefort held on to pole position on day two of the final Race to Q-School event, but he will have to keep his head in the game as the jostling for position in the final Order of Merit goes down to the wire on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Tshwane golfer protected his overnight lead at Centurion Country Club with a flawless four-under-par 68 and he will start the final round at 12 under with a two shot advantage over seasoned professional Coert Groenewald and rookie Tristen Strydom.

However, that’s precisely where Waschefort’s trouble could start.

Groenewald has been one of the most consistent campaigners over the 18 events in the Race to Q-School Series, and he is a serious contender for the top prize in the Race to Sunshine Tour Q-School Order of Merit.

The Roodepoort golfer banked his seventh IGT Challenge Tour title in the Race to Q-School #16 at State Mines Golf Club a fortnight ago and the victory vaulted the 28-year-old to fourth in the rankings.

With 54,443.25 points in hand, a win or even a runner-up finish at Centurion Country Club would move Groenewald into the top spot.

For that to happen, though, Groenewald would need second-placed Matthew Spacey or Dean O’Riley, ranked third, to both finish outside the top three.

Spacey produced rounds of 68 and 67 to tie for fourth alongside Thriston Lawrence, Juan Swart and amateur Ruan Korb and the Dainfern pro will start the last 18 holes just three off the pace

O’Riley, who won the first event in the Race to Q-School series, has a bit more work to do if he hopes to lift Damian Naicker out of the number one spot. The Benoni player carded rounds of 72 and 68 and he is currently in the bus at four under.

The top five players in the final Order of Merit after Wednesday’s final round will receive free passage to the Final Stage of the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School.

That raises the stakes significantly, especially for Waschefort, who is eighth in the rankings with 45,328.02 points. The 15,000 points for a win would certainly push him into the top five, but Strydom is less than 1,500 points behind Waschefort and an ominous presence in his rear-view mirror.

“I definitely don’t want to be thinking about the rankings, but it is in the back of my mind,” said the tournament leader. “Coert and Tristen are both extremely gritty competitors and they don’t back off from the fight, so I expect to have a battle on my hands.

“My focus in the first two rounds has been to keep my head down and to hit every shot as good as possible. I haven’t gotten ahead of myself and I believe that has kept me going. If I can continue to do that tomorrow, I have every chance of making it.”

Another dark horse to watch is rookie Estiaan Conradie.

A three-time winner in his first season on the IGT Challenge Tour last year, the Wingate Park teenager sits at 10th in the Order of Merit with 43,963.56 points. He fired seven birdies and an eagle on day two to record the low round of the day – a seven-under-par 65 – that moved him to four under.

6th May 2012 | IGT Challenge Tour

Minnie claims first Pro Tour title

Herman Minnie

Final Results

South Africa’s Herman Minnie claimed his first Pro Tour Title after winning the Irene Challenge at the Irene Country Club on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old finished on 12 under par with rounds of 69, 65 and 70.

Minnie captained the Gauteng-North main side for two years as an amateur and in June 2012 decided to play full time on the IGT Pro Tour as a professional.

Day one saw the players coming of twice for thunder warnings but this did not affect Rae Mackie who took the lead with a superb 4-under-par 68 followed by Minnie, Otto van Greunen and Christiaan Pretorius on 3-under-par 69.

On day two Zimbabwe’s Sheldon Steyn set the tone by shooting a brilliant 8-under-par 64. This was followed up by a 7-under-par 65 by Zander Lombard and Minnie with nine players on 4-under-par.

Minnie started day three with a lead of two shots over Sheldon Steyn and after eight holes Steyn was leading with Minnie a further two shots behind. Minnie, however, had other plans and going down 13 had a one shot lead over Lombard. The turning point was on the short par-three 16th hole when Lombard three-putted and Minnie made his par to have a two-shot lead with two holes to go.

His stunning five-iron shot to within 12 feet of the hole at the par-five 17th hole, where he missed his eagle put to make birdie, gave him a two shot lead going down the final hole.

While the ex Gauteng-North player went on to win his first Pro Tour title, he also climbed to the top of the Rhode Island challenge for February to win Golf apparel worth R4 000.

“I joined the GFG Academy in September 2012 and was struggling for four months with my golf going into Sunshine Q-School in January 2013. With dedicated guidance from my coach, Graeme Francis, I started working really hard at my game, and the results are starting to show. Graeme helped me the whole way and a part of the win is because of him,” Minnie said.

“The win at Irene boosted me a lot and I hope to continue on this route.”

“It’s nice to be back in the winning circle,” he said. “It is a big relief. It’s been a wait, but I’m definitely still young, and hopefully this opens the door to many more. But it’s nice to be mentioned as a Pro Tour winner,” Minnie concluded.

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Martin adds international flavour to IGT Tour

Bryan Martin

Final Result

Bryan Martin of the United States on Thursday became the first international player to win on the IGT Pro Tour when he won the IGT battle of the Giants at Country Club Johannesburg.

His tournament score of 21-under-par was two better than second-placed Roberto Lupini of South Africa.

Martin, who turned pro in January this year and earned his card on the Sunshine Tour, had a three-shot lead going into the final round, with five players chasing him.

The California-based golfer shot a 62 in the first round, which set him up nicely for the rest of the week. He followed that up with a 70 and 69 before his final round of 66.

“I’ve been working hard on my game here in South Africa and the win is just great. Hopefully I can carry this form to the Telkom PGA next week,” he said.

“I hit the ball really good and only made a blunder on the par 3 17th hole for a double in round 3.”

Lupini made a run at Martin and came close with a final-round 65 to tie the low round of the day with Martin’s good friend Brendon Detweiler (USA).

Morne Buys (RSA) posted a 4-under-par 68 for to finish in third place on 16 under, while Detweiler finished 4th on 15 under.

Martin’s 62 in the first round on the Woodmead course was the lowest round of the tournament. Jaco Prinsloo (RSA) shot a 9-under par 63 in round 3 on the Rocklands course to finish in 5th place on 14 under par.

The tournament witnessed a rare achievement on the par-5 6th when Martin and his playing partners Johan de Beer and Herman Minnie recorded an albatross, eagle and birdie respectively during the first round.

Martin’s second shot, a 6 iron, found the bottom of the cup for an albatross, and together with De Beer’s eagle and Minnie’s birdie, the group’s return on the hole read: 2, 3, 4.

The first two rounds of the tournament were played on the Woodmead course and Rounds 3 & 4 on the Rocklands course.

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Pieter Kruger wins Orange Crab race to Asia first Leg

Pieter Kruger

Final Results

Pieter Kruger won the first leg of the Orange Crab Race to Asia at the Randpark Bushwillow Golf Club over54 holes on Wednesday.

Kruger started the final day three shots behind overnight leader Jonathan Waschefort. His final-round 2 under par 70 was enough to win by one on 7 under par from Waschefort ,who shot a 2 over 74 and Herman Minnie with a 2 under par 70.

Kruger said. “This is a great start for the Race to Asia. The opportunity given by Orange Crab and IGT is huge for any player to go and play in Asia and compete on other Pro Tours.”

Waschefort started day one with a 4 under par 68 to tie the lead with Deon Bredenkamp and Gary Baynham. He followed it up with another 4 under par 68 on day two to be in the lead on 8 under going into the final day.

Unfortunately his approach shots let him down on the final day and finish on 2 over par 74 to finish in second place on 6 under par with Herman Minnie.

Kruger made his intention clear early in the final round when he made an eagle on the first hole. He had a two-shot lead playing the 16 hole but a drop saw the lead change to one shot over Minnie and Waschefort. All three players made pars on the final two holes to see Kruger bag his first Pro win and take the lead in the Race to Asia Order of Merit.

Wade Hoffman was the big mover on day two with a front nine of 5 under par 31 which included a hole-in-one on the Par-3 sixth hole. Hoffman only manage par on the back nine to finish on 5 under par 67 and 4 under for the event going into the last day.

Orange Crab is the proud sponsor of the Orange Crab Race to Asia which is played over seven events during April and May and ends with the IGT Match Play at the end of May where there is one more place up for grabs.

IGT Tour Players can win one of the five fully paid places and is open to all golfers who have not got a Sunshine Tour card for 2013.

Kruger concluded “All the Players competing in the race to Asia is taking it very serious and I am just glad to have a good start but there is still six events to go.”

Albie Hanekom of Orange Crab said “We have successfully negotiated places on some of the main tours in South East Asia for June/July. We will be taking a group of eight golfers across to represent Orange Crab, to gain experience and compete against the best of Asia. As a professional it’s crucial to learn to adapt to different countries, conditions and cultures on a weekly basis.”

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