6th September 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Conradie Bros collect at Zwartkop Better Ball
PHOTO – Estiaan (left) and Ruan Conradie with Zwartkop Better Ball tournament host Dale Hayes; credit CJ du Plooy.
TSHWANE, 6 September 2017 – Ruan and Estiaan Conradie cut through the competition to collect their 10th IGT Challenge Tour trophy in the Zwartkop Better Ball title on Wednesday.
The Wingate Park duo backed up earlier rounds of 63 and 59 with a final round 60 to win by three shots on 31-under-par 128 at Zwartkop Country Club.
The Conradie siblings have become regular visitors to the winner’s circle on the country’s premier golf development circuit over the past 18 months. Ruan has won five times and Estiaan four, yet the pair finished well down the leaderboard in the Wanderers Better Ball Challenge in March.
Money List leader Ruan said they hit on the perfect recipe for success this week.
“Estiaan and I won the Central Gauteng and Gauteng North Foursomes and we teamed up for Gauteng North in the Premier SA Inter-Provincial last year, but we had a poor performance at the Wanderers,” said the 22-year-old. “We figured out our strategy tripped us up.
“We tried to help each other, but it back-fired, so this week we changed tactics. We always compete against each other, so our strategy was to try and beat each other every day.”
Amateur pair Dylan Kok and Christopher van der Merwe led from the start with rounds of 61 and 69, while Ruan Korb and Jason Roets fired a tournament record 57 in round two to tie for the 36-hole lead.
“We started the final round two shots behind, but we made three birdies out of the gate to get in front,” said Ruan. “Estiaan’s four-footer at the first got us into red numbers right away. He chipped in from 10 metres for birdie at the second and knocked in a 10-footer at the third to get us into the lead.”
Ruan’s approach at the fifth hole finished a foot from the hole. He made the putt, Estiaan knocked in a four-footer at six and Ruan sunk his birdie putt from four feet at the ninth.
The Wanna Be A Champion Academy duo completed the outward loop in 30 strokes to take the lead.
“I drained a left-to-right slider from 15 feet at 10 and Ruan boxed a real slider at 12 from about 12 foot to take us to eight under,” said 19-year-old Estiaan.
“Ruan hit a seven iron to four feet at 15 and boxed the putt and we both hit driver, eight iron at 16 to get within birdie range, but I knocked mine in first. At the 18th, we both drove it just past the bunker. I took a seven-iron in and Ruan hit an eight-iron and we finished close to each other on the green. We both two-putted for birdie and the win.
“I shot seven under in the first round, Ruan went eight under in round two and we split the difference in the final round. It’s really great to have something to celebrate together.
“It was great fun to play Better Ball, especially with the scrambled drive format on day two, because we could really bash the ball and fire at the pins. It’s been an intense couple of days, but we loved every moment.”
The pair earned a nice chunk of change, but none of it will be spent on celebratory drinks.
“First prize was R10 000,” said Ruan. “You got to plan for the future, so we will put away a bit towards our Q-School fees. Estiaan needs new irons and I need a new hybrid for the summer, so we’ll squirrel the rest away for equipment. Hopefully our parents will sponsor a drink!”