28th February 2018 | IGT Challenge Tour
Fortune favours From in Race to Q-School Final
(PHOTO – Fredrik From with IGT Challenge Tour commissioner Cois du Plooy; credit CJ du Plooy)
RANDPARK, 28 February 2018 – Fredrik From powered to a maiden IGT Challenge Tour victory in the season-finale of the Race to Q-School Series at Randpark Golf Club on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old Swede stretched a two shot overnight lead to a three stroke victory on 15-under 201 when he closed with a three-under-par 69 at the Firethorn Course.
Duane Keun posted 68 to finish in sole second, while England’s Mark James finished a further stroke back after signing off with a 71.
Central Gauteng amateur pair Jason Rossiter and David McIntyre registered rounds of 69 to tie for fourth on nine under, one shot clear of Anton Haig and Albert Venter.
From is no stranger to the winner’s circle, having won four times in the past two years. He arrived in South Africa just a little over a fortnight ago and was extremely pleased to lift another trophy in just his second start on the country’s premier golf development circuit.
“I’m really happy with my performance this week and it means a lot to me to lift the trophy,” he said.
“I took a 10 year break from golf and only started playing again two years ago. I won tournaments in Spain, Thailand and the Pattana Golf Championship on the Mena Tour, but the last win was over seven months ago. To win this early in the season is brilliant. It gives me a lot of confidence.”
From secured a card for the Sunshine Tour via a fifth place finish on the final Order of Merit of the Mena Tour. He planned to compete in Asia until the start of the 2018/2019 season, but decided to come out to South Africa instead on his doctor’s recommendation.
“Somewhere along the line I contracted a parasite in Asia and my doctor cautioned me to steer clear of Asia for a while,” he said. “So I cancelled all my bookings and came to South Africa. I really wanted to stay competitive so I could be ready for the start of the season, and the IGT Challenge Tour is the perfect place to do that.”
From fired successive rounds of 66 to shoot to the top and his lead was never threatened during the final round.
He cruised through the front nine with eight pars and a birdie at the par five fourth and consolidated his lead with further gains at 10, 12 ad 14. “I hit it close at 10 and boxed the birdie putt, and that gave me some nice momentum starting the back nine,” he said.
“I drove it really well all week and I was never in any trouble. That was definitely key to the win. I also putted very well and didn’t give many shots away. I had a soft bogey at 17 after I hit the birdie putt seven feet past the hole and missed the return, but I was never under any real pressure. It was nice to play stress-free golf and to finish a good scoring week with a trophy.”
The final event concluded the 18-event Race to Q-School Series.
The top 10 players who earned exemption into the Final Stage of the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School via the final Order of Merit include money leader Estiaan Conradie and his brother Ruan, who finished in second place. Philip Geerts fired the low round of the day – a 65 – to tie for 15th and punched his ticket to Final Stage with a third place finish in the final standings.
The remaining seven players are Pieter Moolman (4), Tokkie van den Berg (5), Roberto Lupini (6), Ruan Korb (7), Luke Brown (8), Matt Bright (9) and Tristen Strydom (10).