20th September 2017 | Big Easy IGT Golf
Korb banks first IGT win at Ebotse
(PHOTO: Ruan Korb; credit CJ du Plooy)
JOHANNESBURG, 20 September 2017 – Ruan Korb closed out a wire-to-wire victory in the Ebotse Challenge on Wednesday and the Pretoria golfer collected his first silverware on the IGT Challenge Tour in fine style at the Ebotse Links in Benoni.
Korb had seized control of the event with a scintillating 67. He pulled four shots clear of Roberto Lupini with a four-under-par 68 in round two and sealed an eight stroke victory over Lupine and Kempton Park amateur Ruhan van Dijk with a 69 in the final round.
“I felt slightly disappointed when I let it slip in the final round of the Kyalami Challenge last month and I was really determined to not let that happen again,” said the 24-year-old Korb. “I tried to give myself a big enough buffer and I got the job done.”
Korb made a strong start with four birdies on the front nine and despite dropping at the eighth, he was seven strokes clear starting the back nine.
“I hit a good four-iron down the first, a gap-wedge to seven feet and holed the putt and that got the momentum going,” he said.
“At the second, I took four-iron off the tee again. I hit an easy wedge from 150 metres to 10 feet behind the flag and made the putt and I two-putted for birdie at five. I hit two-iron off the tee at seven and five-iron from 230 metres out to 20 foot and two-putted for birdie at seven.
“I went with the four-iron and the driving iron a lot this week, because the fairways are still rock-hard from winter. You never know what kind of roll you would get with the driver. It was a strategic decision to go with less club, but it paid off.”
Korb give another shot away at 11, but recovered quickly with successive birdies at 12 and 13.
“They were both soft bogeys and it didn’t bother me, because I had such a big lead, but I think I felt too safe and let my focus slip a little,” he said. “After I dropped 15, I played the last three holes safe. Just fairways and greens to the finish line.”
His 12 under par winning total was a reflection of his superb ball striking week.
“I hit the ball well all week,” he said. “In the final round the wind showed up at the fourth hole, but I still hit 13 out of 14 fairways in regulation.
“It feels really good to get this win. It’s what you practice for and it was great to watch that last putt do in the hole and know the victory was mine. I’ve been working really hard this season and it’s so great to get the pay-off. I hit three sub-par rounds this week, and that was the key to winning. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of my parents (Callie and Renata) and I’m dedicating my first win to my biggest supporters.”
Lupine closed with a 73 and Van Dijk carded 72 to share second at four under, with Dean O’Riley, Teboho Sefatsa and Maritz Wessels a further shot back in joint fourth.