18th November 2015 | IGT Challenge Tour
Huysamen holds nerve for IGT Tour breakthrough
JOHANNESBURG, 18 November 2015 – Namibia’s Ruan Huysamen celebrated a hard-earned maiden pro win in the IGT Race to Q-School #7, presented by The Gary Player School for Champions, at Kyalami Country Club on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old Windhoek golfer fired a four-under-par 68 to overhaul joint second round leaders Tyron Mc Comb and TJ Bekker and claim a three stroke victory on 10 under 206.
Mc Comb carded a 72 to edge out Bekker – who returned a 73 – for second, while former IGT Tour champion Pieter Kruger finished a further stroke back with a final round 70.
A fourth stablemate Huysamen, Bekker and Kruger at the GFG Academy, Carrie Park, led the ladies in the tournament.
The reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion closed out the top five on two under 214 with rounds of 72, 70 and 72, while Ladies Sunshine Tour campaigner Melissa Eaton reeled in six birdie in seven holes for a 70 and a share of 10th on one over.
Huysamen credited his coach Graeme Francis for the sudden spurt of form, saying Francis got him out of ‘camping mode’.
“I’ve had one long season of missed cuts and I just didn’t know how to turn it around until I had a session with Graeme two weeks ago,” Huysamen said.
“We talked a lot about my mental state. I was at a point where I expected to miss cuts and shoot bad rounds and accepted it, but Graeme snapped me out of it.
“He gave me a rigorous practice programme to follow. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my career, but when I got to Kyalami, I felt great about my game. I was in a really positive head-space. I wasn’t in ‘camping mode’ anymore.”
The Namibian vaulted into contention with successive rounds of 69 and started the final round one off the pace from Mc Comb and Bekker.
He drained a 10-foot putt for birdie at par-four second overtake Mc Comb, who dropped two shots at the same hole, and joined Bekker in the lead.
“When TJ double-bogeyed the seventh, I held the outright lead and I never released it,” said a delighted Huysamen.
“I made a great up-and-down from the bunker at nine for a birdie to turn two under, and cancelled a soft bogey at 11 with a birdie at 13. My ball landed in a divot after my tee shot, so I just hit as hard as I could. I finished 20 meters from the green, chipped over the bunker to give and made the putt. That birdie gave me a lot of confidence down the last five holes.”
Huysamen made four straight pars before he finished in style with back-to-back birdies.
He chipped in for birdie at the short hole and took a conservative approach down 18.
“My goal for the last round was to try and limit the mistakes and not to chase birdies,” he said.
“I think it’s a mistake a lot of guys make at this course. It’s a very tight layout with a lot of water and if you hit the green on the wrong spot, you struggle to make par. So I hit a solid drive, laid up just short of the green, chipped to three feet and boxed the putt for birdie.”
Huysamen missed the entry deadline for the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open, but his spot in the Alfred Dunhill Championship qualifier next Tuesday is booked.
Now he is looking forward to taking his newfound confidence to Irene Country Club.
“It’s going to be excellent to tee it up in a qualifier with this kind of form and confidence,” he said.
“I am demanding more of myself and I’ll continue to work this hard. Gary Player said ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get and I want some more of this luck.”