11th July 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Korb set for tussle with Bremner Kyalami
(PHOTO: Ruan Korb; credit CJ du Plooy)
JOHANNESBURG, 11 July 2017 – Pretoria golfer Ruan Korb fired a career-best nine-under-par 63 in the second round of the Kyalami Challenge to get within two shots of Merrick Bremner, who remained on course for an IGT Challenge Tour hat-trick on Tuesday.
Bremner, a familiar face on the country’s premier golf development circuit in the Sunshine Tour off-season, took pole position at Kyalami Country Club with an eight under 64 and began round two with a two-stroke lead over Makhetha Mazibuko, while Korb lagged eight shots off the pace.
The Investec Property player bogeyed the second, but kept a grip on the lead with birdies at the third, 13th and 17th. He sign for a 69 that kept him ahead of the pack at 11 under 133.
Korb, meanwhile, got off to a birdie start.
The 24-year-old Silver Lakes golfer obliterated a bogey at the par four second with a run of five birdies on the trot. An eagle at the par-five ninth saw Korb complete the front nine in 29 strokes and he moved to seven under through the turn.
Korb salvaged another dropped shot at 11 with successive birdies at 12 and 13 and signed off in style with a birdie at the final hole for his career-low 63.
“Merrick will definitely start the final round as the favourite, but I hope to learn a lot from playing with him in the final group,” said Korb.
“It is such a privilege for us to have someone of Merrick’s calibre playing on the IGT Challenge Tour and any time you have the chance to play with someone who has won five times on the Sunshine Tour, you have the chance to learn.”
Korb has been campaigning full-time on the IGT Challenge Tour since graduating with his PGA teaching diploma from Centurion Academy in 2015. In the last four months, he has shown significant improvement and racked up five top 10 finishes in his last seven starts.
“After I got cut at the Second Stage of the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School, I realised a couple of things,” said Korb. “You have to work really hard to get to the next level, because average is just not good enough.
“You also need to get over a bad shot quickly to keep pushing forward. I used to obsess about bad shots or missed putts, but you can’t change the past, only the future. I started working with sport phycologist Maretha Claassen and I’ve definitely improved my mental game and it’s showing in my scores.
“Today I battled with the driver and a few tee shots went well left, like at the fifth and the ninth. I looked for opportunities to get to minimise the damage and I walked off with a birdie at five and an eagle at nine. I am hitting my irons really well and I’m putting well, so I played to my strengths and it paid off. Tomorrow I will watch how Merrick manages himself around this tough track, but I’ll play the course, not the player and see where it leaves me.”
Mazibuko from the Gary Player School of 2017 will start the final round four off the pace after he carded a 71 and Garth Wolter is a further stroke back after returning a 69.
Pieter Moolman and Central Gauteng amateur Rupert Kaminski, on his summer break from Oklahoma City University, produced a pair of 70s to share fifth at five under.