19th April 2016 | IGT Challenge Tour

Haig and Park to face off at ERPM

ERPMDay2 (104)(PHOTOS – Anton Haig and Carrie Park; credit CJ du Plooy)

BOKSBURG, 19 April 2016 – Anton Haig wore the steely look of a gladiator as he marched into contention for his first title since 2007 with a 69 at ERPM Golf Club on Tuesday. Moments later, Carrie Park put the finishing touches on a 69 to join Haig in pole position in the ERPM Challenge.

Haig stands six foot three in his socks; pint-sized Park barely breaks five feet. He plays off the championship tees and she drives it off a combination of ladies and senior tees.

But that’s where the differences ends.

Haig and Park shot 64s in a birdie slugfest on Monday. Both dropped two shots in Tuesday’s second. Both are competing for the same prize fund and for both, a maiden IGT Tour title is on the line. An eagle, 11 birdies and two bogeys each later, the question begs: who wants that title the most?

Centurion11-13AprDay1 (86)Park could prove a handful on Wednesday.

When the IGT Tour opened its doors to women amateurs and pros in 2014, Park was the first to sign up. She spent the last two years honing her craft on the IGT Tour and is very comfortable competing in the predominantly male environment. So comfortable, in fact, that the 19-year-old South Korean reeled in 11 top 20 finishes in preparation for her Sunshine Ladies Tour debut last year.

Her best finish….a tie for fifth in the 2015 ERPM Challenge.

Park definitely won’t be intimidated going up against the 2007 Johnnie Walker champion, but the new swing is another matter.

“I am working on my left hip rotation to gain more distance,” said the Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie.

“Everything clicked in the first round and the swing felt great, but I really battled with the driver today. You have to hit it on the right side of the fairway at this course to attack the pins, and I put myself in trouble quite a bit. I hit a couple of wayward drives at the start of the round and that cost me shots at one and three.

“We are also off the senior tees today, which meant the course was a lot longer and a lot tougher. I was able to regroup after the two bogeys and get on with things, but my driver didn’t improve. My irons and wedges were solid and the putter saved me more than once today.”
The GFG Academy golfer believes she has the tenacity and drive to take it to the finish line.

“Playing the Sunshine Ladies Tour toughened up my mental game and that’s why I’m excited about the last round.” Park said. “I really want to win just once. It’s tough to beat the men, but I’m going to give it all I’ve got. That said, I’ve played with Anton a couple of times. He is a great guy and an incredible golfer and I’ll be the first to applaud him if he pulls it through.”

Haig hadn’t pegged it on a pro Tour since he campaigned on the 2013 IGT and Big Easy Tours.

The 29-year-old Nelspruit golfer hit is first tee shot in three years at the Kyalami Challenge in February. An opening 63 handed him lead and, although he finished second at Kyalami, Haig added another runner-up finish, two third places, a tie for sixth and a tie for eighth in five subsequent starts on the country’s premier development Tour.

With 18 holes to go, Haig is taking a realistic approach to the final round, including the possibility of being beaten by a girl.

“I told you Carrie Park is a helluva golfer,” Haig laughed. “My only goal is to get through each day an hour at a time and through each round a hole at a time. I don’t put any expectations on myself and I don’t think further than the next shot. I’m not striking the ball as well I would like, but I’m doing enough good things on the course to stay in contention.

“That’s already a huge step forward. I’ve worked really hard to get back to this point and I’ve already come a long way, so there is no need to get ahead of myself. It’s about the marathon, not the race. We all play to win and of course I’d like to win, but I’m not going to think about that until the last putt drops and I look up at the leaderboard.”

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified and amateurs are indicated as AMA:

133 – Anton Haig 64 69, Carrie Park 64 69

136 – NJ Arnoldi 68 68, John McClean (NIR) 66 70

137 – Dean O’Riley 67 70

138 – Michael Schutz AMA 67 71

140 – Matthew Spacey 73 67, Simon Kruger 69 71, David Ashley (ENG) 75 65, Johary Raveloarison (MDG) 72 68

141 – Duane Keun 73 68, Thriston Lawrence 70 71

142 – Igor Milicic (SRB) 72 70, Ryan Clarke 71 71

143 – Adriano Salgado AMA 69 74, Matthew Vogel 73 70, Michael Kok AMA 73 70, Rosswell Sinclair AMA 71 72

144 – Derryn Mitri AMA 74 70, Damian Naicker 71 73, Gerard du Plooy 74 70

145 – Jonathan Waschefort 76 69

146 – Clinton Grobler 72 74, Coert Groenewald 74 72, Hilton Hughes AMA 71 75, Justin Turner 75 71, Lejan Lewthwaite 75 71

147 – Walter Behr AMA 74 73, Tyrone Lorusso 74 73, Matt Wollman AMA (ZIM) 76 71, Divan Marais 68 79, Stephan Erasmus AMA 76 71, Eric Nel AMA 70 77

148 – Albert Visser AMA 76 72, Matt Bright 75 73, TJ Bekker 74 74, CJ Levey 77 71

149 – Karl Lehmacher AMA 76 73, Clinton Cheia 72 77, Shaun van Tonder 76 73

150 – Ruhan Van Dijk AMA 76 74, Nico du Buisson AMA 71 79, Christo Hattingh 79 71, Dylan Docherty 74 76

151 – Elvis Sithebe 75 76, Brendan Britten (NAM) 72 79, Dwayne Coetzee 75 76, Teagan Moore AMA 75 76

152 – Chase Paton AMA 74 78, Marc de Jager AMA 76 76, Aneel Kallan AMA 76 76, Maverick Faber AMA (FRA) 72 80

153 – Daniel Joubert AMA 79 74, Angelo Marques AMA 76 77, JP Schmidt AMA 73 80, Leon Visser AMA 79 74, Jason Ackerman AMA 76 77, Lourens du Plessis 80 73

154 – Duan Nagel AMA 76 78, Reinard Schuhknect AMA 76 78, Tristan Nel AMA 75 79

Missed the cut:-

156 – Jonty B Shelton AMA 81 75

157 – Arno Pretorius AMA 79 78, Estiaan De Jager AMA 80 77, Quintin Crause AMA 76 81

158 – Jabu Radebe 81 77, Cameron Gunning 78 80

159 – Phillip Montgomery 76 83

162 – Jadrick Fourie AMA 82 80

163 – Mfundo Ndaba AMA 86 77, Jordan Parsons AMA 80 83, WM Coetzee AMA 75 88

164 – Charles Grobler AMA 84 80, Sam Metcalfe AMA 78 86

166 – Liam Bezuidenhout AMA 80 86

167 – Nkosikhona Dilla AMA 81 86

169 – Graeme Limper AMA 86 83

173 – Nicklas Van Wyk AMA 90 83

177 – Schalk Du Plessis AMA 89 88


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