31st October 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Brown on course for IGT break-through
(PHOTO – Luke Brown; CJ du Plooy)
GERMISTON, 31 October 2017 – Sandton amateur Luke Brown maintained a commanding lead as second round action wrapped up in the fourth Race to Q-School on the IGT Challenge Tour at Germiston Golf Club on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old from Sandton will go in search of a maiden title on the country’s premier golf development circuit after a stunning opening round of 63 – the lowest of his burgeoning career – and a second round 69 earned him a five shot lead on Luke Trocado.
Brown seemed to be playing a different course to his peers as he overcame three bogeys on the front nine with birdies at three, five and six and racked up three more gains at 13, 16 and 18 to finish at 12 under 132.
Trocado from the Western Province golfer moved into second place with a 67, while South Africa’s number one ranked amateur Kyle McClatchie and namesake Kyle Lucas trail Brown by six shots after respective rounds of 69 and 70.
Brown admitted that he had some difficulty with his start, but managed to settle down pretty quickly.
“It was the first time I ever led the field on the IGT Tour, so it was a different kind of start and I was a little shaky at the first hole,” he said.
“I bogeyed one, but played the second well and by the time I reached the third, it was just me and the golf course. I made a good birdie and also birdied the par five (fifth). I hit it over the green at the sixth and couldn’t up-and-down for par and played a poor bunker shot at the seventh for another bogey, but I rallied with a good approach at the eighth and sunk a 15-footer for birdie.”
Brown turned level par for the round and kept his card clean over the last nine holes.
At this stage, the young amateur has just started testing the water on the national amateur circuit and doesn’t plan on playing the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School next March.
However, most of the players in the chasing pack will be heading to Q-School and, with 10 spots on the line into the Final Stage for the top 10 ranked players at the end of the 18-event Race to Q-School series, Brown is certain to feel some heat in the final round.
“I played very solid on the home stretch and that has given me quite a boost,” he said.
“Leading is all new territory for me, but having a five shot lead does give me some confidence. The bigger the lead, the better. I will definitely benefit from today’s experience, though. I was able to manage the pressure and I still put in a good score, despite the bogeys on the front nine.”