11th August 2015 | IGT Challenge Tour
Groenewald coasts to CA Academy Classic lead
TSHWANE, 11 August 2015 – Coert Groenewald walked off the Wingate Park Country Club course with a confident swagger after walking in six birdie putts on the back nine to nail down a two stroke lead in the CA Academy Classic, presented by the IGT Tour, on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old Roodepoort golfer accomplished what he set out to do and pole position at six under 66 delivered a healthy dose of confidence.
“Confidence is the most important single factor in the game of golf,” Groenewald said.
“It’s the one thing all the leading players in the game have in common. There is only one way to get confidence and sustain it. You have to work at it constantly, but we lose sight of that sometimes in that constant battle to qualify, to make cuts and to make enough money to keep our cards.
“That’s why it’s nice to come home to the IGT Tour every now and then; we get that confidence back and we are ready for the next few battles.”
Groenewald won the IGT Tour Race to Q-School at Wingate Park in December and graduated from the country’s premier developmental Tour with a fifth place ranking at the end 2014. A month later, he finished in a tie for eighth at Qualifying School and packed his bags for the Sunshine Tour.
He was confident at the start of his rookie season, but has only earned three cheques in 11 starts and the confidence started to wane.
“All the failures start to gnaw at your confidence,” said Groenewald, whose biggest pay day was R22,020 for a joint 18th place finish in the Zimbabwe Open.
“Someone looked at my scorecard today and asked me if the holes on the Sunshine Tour are smaller than the IGT Tour’s. I had to laugh, but it feels like that sometimes. The courses are set-up just as tough as the Sunshine Tour, but somehow you don’t feel the pressure. You just play.”
Groenewald notched three early birdies, but bogeyed eight and nine to turn one under.
“I made plenty of birdies on the back nine around a three-putt bogey at 14, and even missed a few chances,” he said.
“I’m really pleased with the way I played. I didn’t force it. It was nice and relaxed. It was one of the best rounds I’ve had this year and it restores your faith; it feeds your confidence.”
Groenewald will carry a two shot advantage into the second round over IGT Tour winner Jacques Kruyswijk, Sunshine Tour regular TJ Bekker and Pretoria amateur Philip Kruse.
Calvin Caldeira was one over through 11 holes before embarking on a stunning run of four consecutive birdies to tie for fifth on three under alongside Matthew Vogel.
Meanwhile IGT Tour graduate Danie van Tonder made a welcome return on the IGT Tour, but the two-time Sunshine Tour champion’s opening effort left with work to do.
“Well, that’s my practice round done,” kidded Van Tonder, who offset a double bogey at three and a bogey at 14 with a hat-trick of birdies for a share of 13th at an even-par 72.
FIRST ROUND SCORES
(All players RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA)
66 Coert Groenewald
68 Jacques Kruyswijk, TJ Bekker, Phillip Kruse (AMA)
69 Matthew Vogel, Calvin Caldeira, Russel Franz
70 Hennie Du Plessis, Werner Van Niekerk
71 Maxime Deffontaine (AMA) BEL, Carlos Arroyo (AMA), Bryandrew Roelofsz
72 Danie Van Tonder, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Simon Kruger
73 Armand Azar (AMA), Zander Potgieter (AMA), Matthew Adams (AMA), Gideon Pienaar, Hilton Hughes (AMA), Stephan Erasmus (AMA), JC Van Dommelen
74 Michael Kok (AMA), Ted Hendriks, Danie Pretorius, Ruan Korb (AMA), CJ Levey (AMA), Herman Minnie, Rikus Oosthuizen (AMA), Carrie Park (AMA), Driekus Gous (AMA)
75 Werner Lourens (AMA), Gary Daoust (AMA), Peetie Van Der Merwe (AMA), Ruan Potgieter (AMA), Andrew Carlsson (AMA), Christiaan Pretorius, Dylan O’Leary, Niel Meyer, Rae Mackie, Jason Froneman, Francois Coetzee, Conway Kunneke, Wayne Stroebel, Reynhard Reynecke (AMA)
76 Pieter Muller (AMA), Michael Palmer, Duan Nagel (AMA)
77 Werner Van Wyk (AMA), Justin Levy NLD
78 Wicus Bezuidenhout (AMA), Arthur Horne SWA, Dwayne Coetzee, Jason Diab, Gareth Atkinson (AMA), Dylan Docherty (AMA), Ruan Huysamen NAM, Eddie Taylor
79 Michael Schutz (AMA), Michael Armstrong (AMA), Angelo Marques (AMA), Jason Ackerman (AMA), Breyten Meyer, NJ Arnoldi, Tyrone Ryan
80 Marc De Jager (AMA), Pieter Kruger, JP Schmidt (AMA), Alex Krebs (AMA)
81 Albert Visser (AMA), Sergio Alves (AMA), Michael Jooste (AMA)
82 Michael Van Hoeck (AMA) BEL, David Lamprecht, Joubert Van Eeden (AMA)
83 Brandon Lydon (AMA), Vincent Mienie (AMA)
84 Morne Wolmarans (AMA)
85 Juan De Bruin (AMA), Reggie Van Der Merwe (AMA), Tommie Brits (AMA)
88 JP Basson (AMA), John Henry Bartlett (AMA)