27th June 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Bright has maiden IGT win in sight
(PHOTO – Matt Bright; credit CJ du Plooy)
TSHWANE, 27 June 2017 – Matt Bright took a huge step towards an IGT Challenge Tour breakthrough when he opened up a yawning five shot lead over Sunshine Tour winner Merrick Bremner in the Woodhill Challenge.
The 23-year-old Pretoria golfer moved to 12 under on Tuesday, courtesy of a second round 68 that included half-a-dozen birdies at Woodhill Country Club.
Although not nearly as explosive as his flawless first round 64, Bright was nonetheless happy to post another sub-par round and was upbeat about his chances.
“It’s a nice cushion to sleep on, but I won’t get complacent,” said Bright. “I putted well, but I didn’t sink as many putts today and the driver wasn’t as sharp. It’s tough to follow a low round with another, but I’m pleased that I kept it in play and hit a lot of greens in regulation.
“The conditions were tougher with the wind up, but I played solid golf. I didn’t have any spectacular moments; just made some good birdie putts and good pars. I made a great save at the 12th after I hit flew the green with my tee shot. I pitched it to three feet and made the putt to keep the round going.
“Hopefully I can shoot another low one in the final round to put some pressure on the guys behind me. Merrick almost went really low today and Louis de Jager cashed in on the low round of the day with a 66. Both of them won on the IGT Challenge Tour in the last couple of months.
“If I can get to 16 under, it will put pressure on the pack. They will have to shoot at least 66 or lower to catch me. And if someone does that, they deserve to win.”
Bremner claimed successive victories on the country’s premier golf development circuit in April.
His round had the makings of a pacesetting score after a trio of eagles, but the Els Club Copperleaf golfer let himself down with a double bogey at six and further drops at eight, 10, 12 and 16. A birdie-birdie finish helped Bremner to second and he leads by one stroke form Kenya’s Stefan Engell Andersen and Pretoria rookie Ruan Conradie.
Engell Anderson tidied up for a 69 after a bogey start, while Conradie – hunting his first professional title after two turns in the winner’s circle as an amateur – cancelled a double bogey at 11 and bogeys at 15 and 16 with a quartet of birdies for an even-par 72.
Sunshine Tour campaigner Jake Redman reeled in four birdies on the back nine for a 68 to move into a tie for fifth with Mpumalanga amateur Peetie van der Merwe (69) and yet another local rookie, Ruan Korb (70).
Meanwhile rookie Ivanna Samu signed for a 74 to join Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland at 11 over 153, while fellow Sunshine Ladies Tour player Mae Cornforth shot 76 to finish a further three shots back.