11th September 2013 | IGT Challenge Tour
MAIDEN DELIGHT FOR DE LANGE
JOHANNESBURG, 11 September 2013 – Brendan de Lange’s maiden title bid nearly died a watery death, but the 22-year-old held his nerve under immense pressure at the last hole for a one stroke victory in the second Race to Q-School tournament at Modderfontein Golf Club on Wednesday.
De Lange had a comfortable four shot cushion heading into the final round after a brilliant, bogey-free 64, but in addition to the chasing pack, he also battled a massive case of nerves and it definitely took its toll.
After a see-saw run of three birdies and double the amount of bogeys, the Pretoria golfer reached the par-four 18th with a three shot lead over Otto van Greunen.
“This is it,” he said. “That’s what went through my mind before I hit a poor tee shot and watched my ball disappear into the drink. And, just like that, the pressure tripled.
“I knew what I had to do to win, though, and I am really proud that I was able to pull it off.”
De Lange lagged it up to the hole, chipped it to a foot and boxed the putt for a 77 to put the seal on a two-under-par 214 total and a one shot maiden win.
“I didn’t realise my nerves would get the better of me this bad, but in a way, it was a great experience,” said De Lange. “If my failed season on the Sunshine Tour taught me anything, it is that you have to be mentally tough under the gun and your game has to stand up under pressure.
“That’s exactly why I am playing the IGT Tour; to learn how to handle the pressure and I got a big dose of ‘how-to’ today. I didn’t do anything heroic, just got myself out of trouble and proved to myself that I have what it takes to win.”
De Lange hopes to challenge for back-to-back victories in third Race to Q-School event at Kempton Park Golf Club next week.
“It is always the hardest to get through the door the first time,” he said.
“Now that I know I could win under this kind of pressure, I think it will be easier the next time. I will have this experience to draw from when I am in the lead or in contention and I’ll know that I can do it.”
Van Greunen dropped just one shot on his way to a four-under-par 68 and sole second on 215.
Southern Cape amateur Andrew Light and Deon Bredenkamp closed with 75s and shared third on even-par 216 with DK Kim from Korea, who returned a 71.
The former Sunshine Tour professional had a four shot cushion at seven-under-par 137 over Southern Cape amateur Andrew Light and Bredenkamp, who carded respective rounds of 70 and 72.
Jacques de Villiers carded a 70 to move into fourth on one under 143, one shot ahead of local amateur Callum Mowat, who returned a 73.
Meanwhile former SA Amateur champion Iliska Verwey fired a final round two under 70 for a share of 14th on six-over-par 222 with multiple Tour winner, Anton Hair, among others.
FINAL RESULT (Top 20 and ties)
All competitors RSA unless otherwise indicated; amateurs = AMA
214 – Brendan de Lange 73 64 77
215 – Otto van Greunen 73 74 68
216 – DK Kim KOR 70 75 71, Deon Bredenkamp 69 72 75, Andrew Light AMA 71 70 75
218 – Roberto Lupini 70 76 72, Callum Mowat AMA 71 73 74
220 – Rae Mackie 73 75 72, Ryan Ciapparelli AMA 75 70 75, Jacques de Villiers 73 70 77
221 – Calvin Caldeira AMA 77 70 74, Carlos Arroyo AMA 77 73 71, Ryan Clarke 73 74 74
222 – Iliska Verwey 78 74 70, Anton Haig 72 74 76, Bryandrew Roelofsz 72 73 77
223 – Eddie Taylor AMA 79 74 70, Ted Hendriks 73 74 76
224 – Hertzog Landman 75 75 74