26th November 2018 | IGT Challenge Tour

Bright leads way with brilliant ball-striking in Big Easy IGT Parkview

Bright leads way with brilliant ball-striking in Big Easy IGT Parkview
(PHOTO – Matt Bright; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 26 November 2018 – Reigning Race to Sunshine Tour leader Matt Bright produced seven sensational birdies on the home stretch at Parkview Golf Club to charge to the top of the first round leaderboard in the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour #15 on Monday.
Going in search of his third victory this season in the penultimate event, the big-hitting 25-year-old year old Sandton golfer put on typically strong display of excellent ball-striking for a brilliant nine-under-par 63 to finish the day two shots clear of Thriston Lawrence.
The Sunshine Tour rookie eagled two par fives – one and 14 – and cancelled a lone bogey at seven with a quartet of birdies at eight, 13, 16 and 18.
Seasoned campaigner Jeff Inglis returned a flawless six-under 66 to sit three off the pace in third.
IGT Challenge Tour winners Tokkie van den Berg and Kyle Barker a further shot adrift in joint fourth, while Gary Player School of 2018 members Makhetha Mazibuko and Thabang Simon went around in rounds of 68 to tie for sixth with Italian amateur Giulio Castagnara, Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour winner Stuart Smith from Botswana, IGT Challenge winner Louis Albertse, Sunshine Tour golfer Matthew Spacey and last year’s IGT Challenge Tour Money List winner Ruan Conradie.
A further six players finished at three-under, while last week’s Sunshine Tour Qualifying School First Stage winner Tristen Strydom leads the 15-man challenge at two-under.
Forty-four players in the starting field of 109 managed to finish in red numbers, but none could match the masterclass from Bright.
He burst from the blocks with an eagle start and fired three birdies before giving back shots around the turn. He rallied with four birdies in a row from 11 and closed with a trio of gains after another drop at 15
“It was a combination of soft greens and good ball-striking,” said the young entrepreneur, who splits his time between running his steel manufacturing company, Steel Stuff and competing on the Big Easy IGT Challenge and IGT Challenge Tours.
“The recent rain softened the greens, leaving them quite receptive and I really struck the ball well. I only missed three fairways and two greens and I made a lot of putts inside 10 feet.
“I made a good up-and-down at the first for eagle that got my round going. After birdies at four, six and seven, I hit my tee shot in the right rough at nine. I left my second short left and I couldn’t up-and-down for par. At the 10th, I hit it to 10 foot and three-putted.”
Bright hit both his approaches at 11 and 12 inside three feet and birdied both par fives, 13 and 14.
“I hit my tee shot in the greenside bunker left on 15, splashed out to six foot and missed the par putt,” he said. “The 16th is a driveable par four and I took advantage.
“At 17, I hit a solid drive down the middle, a wedge to 15 foot and holed the birdie putt. I took hybrid off the tee at 18, hit a lob-wedge to three foot and made the putt for the last birdie. It was some of the best golf I’ve played this season and the timing is good.
“It’s a good start and hopefully I can keep my nose in front. After this week, it’s the Big Easy Championship. The top 10 get full Sunshine Tour cards, and we slot in right behind the top five from Q-School. So it’s all to play for in the last two tournaments to keep that number one spot safe.”

First Round Scores
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA
63 – Matt Bright
65 – Thriston Lawrence
66 – Jeff Inglis (ENG)
67 – Tokkie van den Berg, Kyle Barker
68 – Giulio Castagnara AMA (ITA), Louis Albertse, Ruan Conradie, Makhetha Mazibuko, Thabang Simon, Matthew Spacey, Stuart Smith (BOT)
69 – David McIntyre, Jason Smith, Theunis Bezuidenhout, Sipho Bujela, Albert Venter, Jason Rossiter
70 – Keelan van Wyk AMA, Allan Versfeld, Thabiso Ngcobo, Michael Dreyer, Fezekile Kana, Jason Diab, Tristen Strydom, Hayden Griffiths, Cameron Moralee, Heinrich Bruiners, Teboho Sefatsa, Eric Nel, Pieter Moolman, Neil Cheetham (ENG), Romano Saincic
71 – Maritz Wessels, Tyran van Lieshout, Coert Groenewald, Bennie van der Merwe, Andrew Carlsson, Francois Coetzee, Dongkwan Kim (KOR), Dylan Mostert, Paul Boshoff, Stefan Wears-Taylor, Antonio Costa (CHL)
72 – Greg Bentley (ZIM), Jabulane Mabilane, Bryce Myburgh, Eddie Antonie AMA, Peetie van der Merwe, Hendrikus Stoop, Jason Roets, Gerard du Plooy, Clinton Grobler, Neville Mitchell AMA, Mark Bright
73 – Keelan Africa, Warric Dyers, Jakob Montemurro (CAN), Hanish Nagrani (ZIM), Ryan Tipping, Evance Vukeya, Divan Marais
74 – Philip Geerts (ITA), Yubin Jung, Jonathan Waschefort, Robin Williams AMA (ENG), Alpheus Kelapile, Andrew Burmester, Dylan Kok, Luke Brown, Juran Dreyer, Conway Kunneke, Dwayne Basson
75 – Altaaf Bux, Langley Perrins, Marco de Beer, Allister De Kock, Matthew Rushton, Matthew Rossouw AMA
76 – Ricki Dembo, Wayne Stroebel, Marthin Scheepers, Leon Vorster, Ruhan van Dijk, Liam Clinton AMA, Quintin Crause
77 – Marcus Smal AMA, Mark Fraser, Ricky Palonis (USA), James Searson, Brad Diffenthal
78 – Keaton Slatter, Daniel Hammond, Teagan Moore, Nico du Buisson, Cameron Gurr AMA, Michael Kok, Sheldon Steyn (ZIM), Arno Pretorius, Jonathan George AMA
79 – Michiel Bothma, Ruan Korb
80 – Brett Liddle, Neo Mokgatle AMA
81 – Patric Dowling AMA, Louis Botha, Llewellyn Grobbelaar AMA
83 – Gary Jutzen AMA, Ethan Joseph


Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the IGT Challenge Tour.

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