17th October 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Bezuidenhout’s on for maiden IGT title
(PHOTO – Theunis Bezuidenhout; CJ du Plooy)
BROEDERSTROOM, 16 October 2017 – Rustenburg amateur Theunie Bezuidenhout took a huge step towards a maiden IGT Challenge Tour title when he opened up a two shot lead in the second Race to Q-School at Pecanwood Golf and Country Club in Tuesday’s second round.
The 22-year-old began brightly, opening with a birdie before adding two more at four and five.
A bogey at six pegged him back, but he picked up a birdie at seven before dropping another shot at the eighth for a two under front nine. Further gains at 10, 14, 16 and 17 moved him to the top of the pile at 10 under 134.
“I’m pleased with that,” said Bezuidenhout. “I played nicely on the front nine, but made a few silly mistakes. Then it all clicked and I had a good back nine.
“We can attack the flags out there and it gives us a chance to score low. I also putted better. If your score is low, it’s usually the putter that helps.”
Bezuidenhout made his debut on the country’s premier golf development circuit last year.
He only made two cuts in seven starts, but in his seven starts since the 2017 IGT Challenge Tour season kicked off in March, he racked up four consecutive top 10 finishes after a tie for second in the Pecanwood Challenge in May.
“I’ve been adjusting and adapting to situations out on the IGT Challenge Tour,” he said. “It’s all new to me and I’m still learning but I’m settling in very nicely and it’s great to be in a position to challenge for the title.
“The experience I’ve gained out here has impacted positively on my performance on the South African Golf Association’s Open Amateur circuit. I’ve had five top five finishes, I haven’t missed a cut this season and I’ve climbed to 10th in the rankings.
“My big goal is to break into the top five and to make a national team, so it’s great to have the IGT circuit to play when we have a break on the amateur schedule. It helps me stay competitive but moreover, I’ve learned to cope with pressure better and I’ve gained greater consistency.”
No fewer than 17 players broke par in round two and six players are within striking distance of the leader on a jam-packed leaderboard.
Joining Bezuidenhout in the final group on Wednesday will be this year’s first Race to Q-School champion Estiaan Conradie and fellow Pretoria golfer Paul Boshoff.
Conradie carded a 68 and Boshoff had a lone bogey on his way to a 67. Big-hitting Pieter Moolman from Benoni Lake, who led the first round at Copperleaf last week, also got into the mix at eight under with a flawless 65, the low round of the tournament.
Joubert van Eeden returned a 67 to finish three off the pace.
Overnight leader Wayne du Toit offset two bogeys with a pair of birdies for a 72 to tie for sixth at six under with Ruan Conradie. The current IGT Challenge Tour Money Leader, a three-time winner this season, posted 71.