5th October 2016 | IGT Challenge Tour
Double IGT Tour delight for O’Riley
BOKSBURG, 5 October 2016 – Benoni professional Deon O’Riley ran up an IGT Tour double just a week after his first win this season in the Killarney Challenge when he coasted to success in the Race to Q-School #1 event on Wednesday.
O’Riley put on one of the classiest performances of the season and closed with a flawless final round seven-under-par 65 to triumph at ERMP Golf Club.
He was one clear at the beginning of the final round, but clinical execution saw him finish on 14-under-par 202, a magnificent six shots clear of his closest challenger, Kyle Barker.
“I hope this is a good omen,” said O’Riley, after receiving the first of 18 bespoke trophies that were specifically commissioned for the 18 events in the Race to Q-School series.
“We still have 17 tournaments to go until the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School in March next year, so there is time enough to collect a few more of these babies.
“My goal is to finish in the top five in the Race to Q-School Order of Merit, so I get straight into the Final Stage. This is new incentive this year between the Sunshine Tour and IGT Tour and, with 10 spots also going to the Mena Tour players, this has given a lot of guys like me new purpose.”
O’Riley said that the added incentives in this year’s Race to Q-School series has definitely raised the bar.
“Winning more than one event will probably take some doing,” he said. “When you win a Race to Q-School tournament, your entry into your next event is free.
“If you finish in the top five at the end of the series, the IGT Tour will refund your entry fee for the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School. That right there are huge incentives, so I am really pleased I started my campaign on a winning note.”
O’Riley came into the week with bagsful of confidence after the win at Killarney and kicked off the final day with an eagle at the par-five second to set the tone for his round.
“It took months of hard graft, but I finally got all the aspects of my game working well at Killarney,” said the 27-year-old Ebotse Links golfer.
“I birdied the other par five (four) and hit a nine-iron stiff at the short hole (seven) for another birdie and when I turned I had a comfortable cushion. I knew the field had to catch me, so I just played for pars and picked up a few birdies where the opportunity came up.
“I hit a pitching wedge into the 10th pin high right and holed a six-footer for birdie and made solid birdies at the two par fives (13 and 17). I was really pleased with the victory, but it meant even more that I was able to win with a flawless round.
“I hit all the right shots, holed a lot of putts and made a lot of good decisions all week, which is really satisfying because it means my preparation and my game is on the right track.”
Barker had to settle for second after closing with 70, but the Randpark Pro nevertheless celebrated his best finish this season.
Paul de Beer also posted 70 to take third on 210, while Kempton Park amateur Ruhan van Dijk shared fourth on 211 with former IGT Tour winner Coert Groenewald after the pair carded respective rounds of 71 and 72.