9th December 2014 | IGT Challenge Tour

Groenewald takes charge at Wingate

Wingate8-10DecDay1 (119)(PHOTO – Coert Groenewald; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSHWANE, 9 December 2014 – Coert Groenewald dominated the greens at Wingate Park Country Club, reeling in half-a-dozen birdies to take pole position in the weather-interrupted second round at the ninth IGT Tour Race to Q-School series on Tuesday.

Groenewald was one of only three players to hand in a clean card and his a flawless six-under-par 66 lifted him to a three stroke lead on nine under 135.

Pretoria amateur Ross Sinclair moved to second after signing for a colourful 69 that included an eagle, five bogeys and six birdies. Birthday boy Rae Mackie fired a flawless 69 to move to five under after a flawless 69.

Meanwhile, reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion Carrie Park carved out a blemish-free 72 with 18 successive pars for a share of 23rd on four over 148.

Groenewald is no stranger to the top of the leaderboard, or the winner’s circle.

He won three times on the country’s premier development Tour as an amateur in the 2012 season, and claimed victories in the IGT Tour’s Winter Challenge at Glendower and Wingate Park last year.

However, victory has eluded the 23-year-old Roodepoort professional this season, despite having notched 12 top 10s, including three third place and two runner-up finishes.

“It is frustrating to come close so often and don’t pull it through,” Groenewald said.

“You have to make peace with that and just on with it, but you can bet I’m eager to finish 2014 with a podium finish.

Groenewald birdied the second, sixth and holed a 20-footer for birdie at the ninth to turn in 32.

He dipped to four under with a birdie at the 11th and was playing the 13th when play had to be suspended due to a heavy, steady downpour.

“Jeez, it was like someone turn on the shower full volume and forgot about it,” said Groenewald, who shrugged off the 90 minute delay and birdied the 15th and 18th the home straight.

“I’m really happy with the round. Wingate is very tight and tree-lined and you can’t just get aggressive on every hole. You have to plan off the tee to put yourself in position to pick a good spot on the greens.

“I have been struggling with my swing and I started working with Muss Gammon about six weeks ago and the results in such a short time is quite amazing.

“We have been working on my swing plane and my weight transfer through the ball and I’m amazed how free and easy my swing feels. And it’s translating into good scores. The confidence is definitely coming back.”

Groenewald is planning a return trip to the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School in January after missing his card by two shots earlier this season.

“It was a tough break, but again, you just regroup and I’ve worked really hard this year to be ready for the next trip to Bloemfontein. I feel more confident this time around and at least I know how tough it can be, so I’m more than ready this time.”


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