17th March 2014 | IGT Challenge Tour
Duo ready to tussle at IGT Benoni
Photo – Ruan Huysamen; credit CJ du Plooy
BENONI, 17 March 2014 – Pretoria golfer Toto Thimba Jnr and Ruan Huysamen from Namibia will top the bill in Tuesday’s second round of the IGT Series Benoni after the pair tied at seven-under-par 65 in the opening round at Benoni Country Club.
The pacesetters lead by one from Robbie Lupini, a Sunshine Tour campaigner and four-time IGT Tour winner in 2013.
Brett Liddle’s colourful 67 included two eagles, three bogeys and a birdie over the last six holes, but the seasoned veteran did more than enough on the front nine to finish two off the pace in a tie for fourth with Francois Coetzee.
Former SA number one amateur Haydn Porteous finished a further stroke back in a tie for sixth with Johary Raveloarison, Pieter Kruger, Dean O’Riley and Wynand Dingle.
Huysamen and Thimba both reeled in eight birdies, but the Windhoek golfer may need all of his guile over the testing 7,254 meter layout to hold off the in-form Timba.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a solid amateur career before he joined the Sunshine Tour in 2013, but Thimba is a seven year Sunshine Tour campaigner and two-time Big Easy winner. Just last week, his skill and experience carried him into a play-off against IGT Series ERPM winner, Okkie Strydom.
“I was pleased with my performance last week,” said Thimba. “I took the lead in the second round and it took Okkie three holes to get rid of me in the play-off.
“Today, I got a couple of birdies early on and got under par quickly. I played steady and sank some long putts, and I chipped really well.
“The focus is to shoot a low round and to make a good swing on every shot. I want to limit the mistakes, and I managed to do that with just the one bogey. It was great playing with Shaun (Norris) and Callum Mowat, who won the IGT Race to Q-School. They are also laid back out there, and we had a lot of fun.”
Huysamen was equally pleased with his performance.
“I was especially happy after wiping out a bogey at the 14th with three successive birdies,” he said. “My game felt a little disjointed over the first two months of the season, but lately it feels like it is coming together. “My aim is to play percentage golf – tee to green – and to make at least par at every hole. I left a silly little flop shot at the 14th short of the green and it cost me a shot.
“That’s the kind of mistakes I’m trying to eliminate from my game.”
FIRST ROUND SCORES
Herewith the first round scores from the IGT Series Benoni, played at the par-72 Benoni Country Club on Monday, 17 March 2014; all competitors RSA unless otherwise specified and amateurs = (AMA)
65 – Ruan Huysamen NAM, Toto Thimba Jnr
66 – Roberto Lupini
67 – Francois Coetzee, Brett Liddle
68 – Johary Raveloarison, Pieter Kruger, Dean O’Riley, Wynand Dingle, Haydn Porteous
69 – TJ Bekker, Ph Mcintyre, Michael Scholz
70 – Tertius Van Den Berg, Coert Groenewald, Danie Pretorius, Jason Froneman (AMA), Bryandrew Roelofsz, Rae Mackie, Steven Ferreira, Shaun Smith, Hyun Park KOR, Ludovic Bax MUS (AMA), Gareth Akers (AMA)
71 – Rourke Van der Spuy, Mike Downes ENG, Antonio Rosado POR, Ockert Strydom, Louis De Jager, Will Mathews USA, Jerry Steyn, Gideon Pienaar, Otto van Greunen, Johan de Beer
72 – Frans Strydom, Reghard Neethling (AMA), Zander Lombard (AMA), Brandon Taylor USA, Juan Langeveld, Ryan Tipping, Ryan Gosling, Shaun Norris, Tyrone Ferreira, Hanbo Lee, Lean Boezaart, Rhys West
73 – David Lamprecht (AMA), Vincent Schaffler (AMA), Dayne Moore ZAM, Jacqui Akers (AMA)
74 – Eduard Van Den Berg (AMA), Herman Minnie, Neil Cheetham ENG, JC van Dommelen, Werner Van Niekerk, Callum Mowat, Andrew Light, Ted Hendriks, Murray Smit, Jason Diab (AMA), Henry Featherstone ENG
75 – Wesley Cheia (AMA), Slade Fick (AMA), John McClean NIR
76 – Joubert Van Eeden (AMA), Leon Scheepers (AMA), Raymond Mathonsi SWZ, Tjaart Van Wyk (AMA), Alwyn Vorster, Andi Dill (AMA), Amerigo Renieri (AMA)
77 – Clinton Cheia (AMA), Terence Boardman, Hano van der Walt, Sam Botham ENG, Jacques Prinsloo, Graham van den Berg (AMA)
78 – Pierre Viviers, Peter Wilson ENG, Owen Grobler, Rob Menzies ENG
79 – Niel Meyer (AMA), JC Ritchie, Wayde Mostert, Adriel Poonan (AMA), Shaun van Tonder, Christiaan Pretorius
80 – Robert Herselman (AMA), Dwayne Coetzee, Russell Jaques ENG (AMA)
81 – Ruan van Blerk NAM, Phillip Montgomery, Brett Cocking (AMA)
82 – Carlos Arroyo (AMA)
83 – FG Dorfling (AMA)
84 – Brendan Blake (AMA), JP Schmidt (AMA)
85 – Gian Scarola, Christopher Hardy MUS (AMA)
90 – Gustav Erasmus