4th January 2018 | IGT Challenge Tour

Lange looms large in Race to Q-School

(PHOTO – Victor Lange; credit CJ du Plooy)

GERMISTON, 4 January 2018 – Victor Lange fired a nine-under-par 63 to take the second round lead as par took another beating in the IGT Challenge Tour’s Race to Q-School on Thursday.

The 24-year-old from Primrose Hill, who did not have a bogey in his morning round at the Germiston Golf Club layout, rolled in a 15-footer for eagle at the 448-metre par five 13th and holed his seventh birdie at the penultimate hole for a one shot lead on 10-under 134.

With 27 players shooting under 72 on day one and 22 players breaking par on day two, Lange was pleased that he went low enough to shoot to the top of the pile.

“Somethings you try too hard to force the putts and you can’t get anything to go in,” he said. “And sometimes they start falling in. Today, my putts found the hole. If I can do that again tomorrow, I ought to stay in the hunt.”

Lange racked up birdies at two, four, seven and eight to start the back nine on five-under. A pair of birdies at 10 and 11 put him in the mix and he pulled clear of the chasing pack with the eagle at 13.

“That was a really great hole,” he said. “I hit a massive drive into the perfect spot, just to the right of the fairway and I had just a pitching wedge left. The pin was tucked next to the water and I landed it 15-feet long in the safe spot and hit a great putt centre of the hole.

“I worked extremely hard on my game in the off season and it was great to see it all come together today. I drove it well, hit my irons well and the putter was on song. But I felt a little rusty during the first round. Today I got into my rhythm and felt a lot more relaxed.

“I haven’t played at Germiston Golf Club since I competed in the Junior Quadrangulars for Central Gauteng about six, seven years ago. It’s a tight layout and the set-up is tricky. There are some real testy holes out there.

“The wind was exactly the same today as during the first round, which made it a little easier to plan and execute shots. The forecast calls for the wind the turn in the opposite direction on Friday, though, so it could get very interesting out there.”

The Louisiana Tech graduate has been playing mini-tours in the United States since he completed a four-year finance degree in March last year. He missed the Final Stage of the Web.com Tour Qualifying School by two shots, so he plans to compete on the PGA Latin America Tour next year.

“But that could all change if I win the SA Open,” he joked.

“I’ve never teed it up in the SA Open, so that is still on the bucket list I’m really glad to have this IGT Challenge Tour event to warm up for Tuesday’s qualifier. I haven’t played a tournament since the Web.com Qualifying School in October. Hopefully I get through in Benoni and I’ll make my debut at Glendower next week.”

Lange leads by one from Matthew Rushton, who moved into sole second with a 66.

Amateur Ruhan van Dijk returned a 69 to take third on his own on seven under, while overnight leader Makhetha Mazibuko and amateur Luke Brown finished three off the pace with respective rounds of 70 and 68.

Two-time IGT Challenge Tour winner Jason Roets slotted into sixth at six under with a round of 69.

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