10th September 2013 | IGT Challenge Tour



(Photo – Brendan de Lange; credit CJ du Plooy)BdeLange

JOHANNESBURG, 10 September 2013 – Brendan de Lange is sending a “Thank You” note to his mental coach after blazing his way to the top of the leaderboard with a brilliant 64 in the second round of the Race to Q-School Modderfontein on Wednesday.

While most pundits expected overnight leader Deon Bredenkamp and former Johnnie Walker Classic champion Anton Haig to challenge for the 36-hole lead, it was the 22-year-old Pretoria golfer who delivered the goods with a bogey-free exhibition at the 7,275 layout.

The former Sunshine Tour professional had a four shot cushion at seven-under-par 137 over Southern Cape amateur Andrew Light and Bredenkamp, who carded respective rounds of 70 and 72.

Jacques de Villiers carded a 70 to move into fourth on one under 143, one shot ahead of local amateur Callum Mowat, who returned a 73.

De Lange was out of the blocks with back-to-back birdies and a string of three successive birdies from the par-four six took him to the turn in five under. Unlike his first round, which ended in frustration, he picked up birdies at the 10th, 13th and 17th to complete the back nine in 33.

“I was two under through nine on Tuesday, but I had a double bogey, two drops and birdie on the back nine to finish on 73,” De Lange explained. “I put in a call to my mental coach, Maretha Claasen, and that conversation just set me straight.

“I have been working hard with Gavan Levenson on my game, but I just didn’t have a positive mindset and that was the difference today.”

De Lange was unable to hang on to his Sunshine Tour card at the end of his rookie season in 2012. He has been playing the IGT Pro Challenge Tour events to reach a higher level of consistency and Claasen has been helping him to strengthen his mental approach on the circuit.

“I was just not ready to deal with the pressure of the Sunshine Tour,” he said. “I didn’t have a consistent game to get the kind of results you need to keep your card.

“You have to keep a positive mind set, your game has to hold up under the gun, you need a good pre-shot routine and a good support network. These are the things Gavan, Maretha and I have been working on this year and the IGT Tour has the right competitive environment to test yourself.”

De Lange said he played textbook golf, fairway to green, and stayed in the moment and that produced the results he was looking for. Although he has a four shot lead, the Pretoria golfer is taking nothing for granted, though.

“I haven’t yet, but I am getting more consistent and that is the priority now,” he said. “Anyone behind me can have the kind round I had today and get past me to win, but if I can try to do exactly what I did today, I stand a good chance of winning.

“But I think it is even more important to try to get consistent top five finishes in the next couple of Race to Q-School events, so I will be really ready for the Sunshine Tour next season.

“I thought getting my card would be the hardest part, but I learned last year that good flight, good body function and the ability to shoot good scores under pressure is what really counts.”

SECOND ROUND SCORES (Top 20 and ties)

All competitors RSA unless otherwise indicated; amateurs = AMA

137 – Brendan de Lange 73 64

141 – Andrew Light AMA 71 70, Deon Bredenkamp 69 72

143 – Jacques de Villiers 73 70

144 – Callum Mowat AMA 71 73

145 – DK Kim KOR 70 75, Ryan Ciapparelli AMA 75 70, Bryandrew Roelofsz 72 73

146 – Roberto Lupini 70 76, Anton Haig 72 74

147 – Ryan Clarke 73 74, Otto van Greunen 73 74, Calvin Caldeira AMA 77 70, Ted Hendriks 73 74

148 – Rae Mackie 73 75

149 – Sean Burger 72 77, Justin Levy NLD 71 78, Pierre Viviers 77 72

150 – Nathan Waghorn 77 73, Hertzog Landman 75 75, Peter Wilson ENG 76 74, Carlos Arroyo AMA 77 73, JC Ritchie 75 75, Jonathan Waschefort AMA 76 74

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