16th November 2015 | IGT Challenge Tour

Brave Bekker leads Kyalami Race to Q-School

Kyalami16-18NovDay1 (27)PHOTO – TJ Bekker; credit CJ du Plooy.

JOHANNESBURG, 16 November 2015 – Limpopo golfer TJ Bekker showed exceptional skills in the strong wind that harassed the field in the first round of the Race to Q-School #7, presented by the Gary Player School for Excellence Academy, at Kyalami Golf Club on Monday.
The IGT Tour regular fired a five-under-par 67 to take a two stroke lead over Tyron Mc Comb, Namibia’s Ruan Huysamen and amateurs Armand Azar and Louis Taylor.
Byron Garvie returned a 70 to take sixth on his own, while Terence Boardman, Siphiwe Siphayi and amateurs Armandt Scholtz, Keegan Steyn and Shaun Carter from Ireland also broke par and finished a further stroke adrift.
Bekker overcame bogeys at two and five with four birdies to turn two under and interrupted a series of pars on the back nine with a hat-trick of gains from 11.
“When I hit the first tee shot straight into the teeth of the wind, I knew this day would call for a lot of patience.” the GFG Academy player said.
“The wind was quite strong, at least two clubs, and that made club selection at the holes with danger pretty tough, like the tee shot at 17 into the wind with all that water lurking. I just kept my focus, stuck to my game plan and kept my patience.
“Most of my birdies were pretty short, but I made a really sweet one at 11 when I hit a six-iron from the fairway bunker to 25 feet and holed the putt. That gave me a little momentum for the next two birdies, but the last five holes was really a test of patience.”
Bekker, who describes himself as a late bloomer, believes he has learned enough from mentors Graeme Francis and Stefaan van den Heever to turn a corner.
“I never understood the mental aspect of the game but having worked with Graeme and Stefaan at GFG Academy this year, a lot of stuff started to make sense to me,” Bekker said.
“They gave me a lot of tools and tricks and, to be honest, at first I had no idea what to do with it and didn’t really understand how it will help me play better. Since the start of the Race to Q-School series, though, it’s like it all has started to click.
“I feel more confident and a lot less nervous and it gets better as the series progresses. I’d really like to pull it through this week and get the monkey off my back before the Sunshine Tour’s Q-School in December.”
Meanwhile Morne Wolmarans also had a reason to smile.
Wolmarans forgot all about his struggles in the wind and the blue numbers on his card when he holed out at the sixth. He used a gap wedge to great effect from 140 meters to ace the short hole and finished at five over 77.

67 – TJ Bekker
69 – Armand Azar (ama), Tyron Mc Comb, Louis Taylor (ama), Ruan Huysamen NAM
7wolmara0 – Byron Garvie
71 – Terence Boardman, Armandt Scholtz (ama), Keegan Steyn (ama), Shaun Carter (ama) IRE, Siphiwe Siphayi

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