18th September 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Korb edges Lupini for Ebotse lead
(PHOTO: Ruan Korb; credit CJ du Plooy)
JOHANNESBURG, 18 September 2017 – Pretoria golfer Ruan Korb birdied the closing hole at Ebotse Links for a five-under-par 67 and the first round lead in the Ebotse Challenge on Monday.
Roberto Lupini set the early target at four under, but Korb overhauled the two-time IGT Challenge Tour winner late in the afternoon.
Lupini reeled in three birdies on the front nine, but gave two shots back with bogeys at 10 and 14. He finished in a flurry of birdies, though, knocking in three in a row from 16 to set the early clubhouse lead at four-under-par.
Korb made a fast start with a birdie out of blocks, but a double bogey at the par three second temporarily put the brakes on his round. He took care of the deficit with a trio of birdies from the fifth and further gains at 12, 13 and 18 shot the 24-year-old Silver Lakes golfer to the top of the pile at five under.
Korb got close to a maiden win on the country’s premier development circuit a few times in the last two months, but he remains upbeat about his chances.
“If you keep on knocking, you’re bound to get the monkey off your back at some point,” said Korb. “The key is to stay patient. You can’t let your frustration spill over onto the golf course. You have to stay in the moment and if you start thinking ahead, it will bite you.
“I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made this season; the main goal was to get to a better level of consistency and aside from the odd bad round, I’m gaining momentum. I’ve climbed to seventh on the Money List and second in the IGT Rankings, so a trophy will eventually come my way.”
Maritz Wessels finished third on three under.
The Els Club Copperleaf golfer was one over at the turn, but got it to two under with an eagle at the par five 12th and birdie at 15. He dropped another shot at 17, but bounced back with his second eagle of the day at the par five closing hole.
Former Sunshine Tour champion Brandon Pieters grabbed a share of fourth at two under with Tokkie van den Berg, Teboho Sefatsa and amateur pair Philip Kruse and Ruhan van Dijk.