28th October 2013 | IGT Challenge Tour


(Photo – Zander Lombard; credit CJ du Plooy)Zander Lombard

PRETORIA, 28 October 2013 – Top South African amateur Zander Lombard outshone the professionals in the first round of the IGT Challenge Pro Tour’s Race to Q-School at Silver Lakes Country Club on Monday.

The 18-year-old Pretoria golfer blistered the layout in six-under-par 66 to edge one shot clear of Otto van Greunen and two ahead of professionals Terence Boardman and James Searson.

While Herman Minnie finished alone at fourth after carding a 70, one of Lombard’s team mates Callum Mowat – who shared in the country’s seventh victory in the recent African Amateur Golf Teams Championship in Swaziland – joined Jerry Steyn and IGT Race to Q-School winner Brendan de Lange are the only other players in the 92-man field to break par on a tough scoring day in Pretoria.

The trio all signed for 71.

Meanwhile South Africa’s top ranked female amateur, Nobuhle Dlamini, and former top amateur Henriette Frylink are also in the mix after carding 73s to finish at joint 17th.

Lombard began with back-to-back birdies and followed an eagle at the par-five seventh with birdie at the eighth to turn in five under.

The country’s number two ranked amateur cancelled a lone bogey at the 10th when he picked up another shot at the 12th and put the seal on a fine performance with birdie number five at the par-five 18th.

Lombard said swirling winds made it difficult to score, especially on the back nine.

“I played well, especially my short game but it was tough to score on the back nine,” he said. “You couldn’t go at the pins, because the wind was really swirling and gushing and kept changing direction.

“You had to take your chances where you could find them, but I am quite happy to lead on 66. It gives me a solid base to build on over the next two rounds.”

The Woodhill Country Club golfer defeated another IGT Tour regular Haydn Porteous for KwaZulu-Natal Match Play Championship just before Porteous turned pro.

Lombard held the number one spot for nearly three months, but was overtaken by yet another IGT Tour campaigner Christiaan Bezuidenhout when he missed a few weeks back home due to international commitments. In recent months, Lombard has protected his ranking with three runner-up finishes, a third and two fifth place finishes.

Although he plays most of his golf of the South African amateur circuit, the teenager enjoys the challenge of the IGT Tour.

“I love competing on the IGT Tour, because it raises my focus and the level of my game,” Lombard said. “We all know each other on the amateur circuit, but there is such an element of uncertainty when you tee it up in an IGT event. You know you need to score low to be in contention and that really raises the standard of your game.

“A bunch of us are going to the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School next year, so this is a great way to get ‘match fit’ for Q-School.”

FIRST ROUND SCORES (Top 40 and ties)

All competitors RSA unless otherwise indicated; amateurs = AMA

66 – Zander Lombard AMA

67 – Otto van Greunen

69 – Terence Boardman, James Searson

70 – Herman Minnie

71 – Coert Groenewald, Callum Mowat AMA, Jerry Steyn

72 – Brendan De Lange, Ted Hendriks, TJ Bekker, Nathan Waghorn, Carlos Arroyo AMA, Cilliers Naude, Matthew Vogel, Lean Boezaart

73 – Wayne du Toit, Rob Menzies, Nobuhle Dlamini AMA, Henriette Frylinck, Jacques de Villiers, Mike Maile

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