25th October 2017 | Big Easy IGT Golf
Maiden IGT Tour delight for Moralee at Ruimsig
(PHOTO – Cameron Moralee; CJ du Plooy)
ROODEPOORT, 25 October 2017 – Cameron Moralee sealed a sensational maiden victory in just his fourth start on the IGT Challenge Tour with a wire-to-wire performance in the third Race to Q-School at Ruimsig Country Club on Wednesday.
“I feel great about the win, but it sure wasn’t pretty,” said the 20-year-old Dainfern amateur.
“The course set-up was extremely tough and the wind was quite strong. I didn’t play too badly on the front nine. I was a bit streaky and made a couple of silly mistakes going for the wrong flags. But I had a much better back nine and a decent finish, which put me over the line, thankfully.”
Moralee began the final round with a commanding three shot lead, but he was pushed by his playing partners, Ruan Groenewald from Mpumalanga and Italy’s Philip Geerts.
He managed to offset the damage of two early bogeys with birdies and reeled in three further gains for a two-under-par 70. Although Geerts and Groenewald kept up the pressure, both players also faltered at the 17th hole and signed for rounds of 70, leaving Moralee to celebrate a three shot victory on 15-under 201.
“I was able to come back with birdies after the bogeys at the third and seventh, and I boxed a couple of five footers for pars that kept me going on the front nine,” said Moralee.
“I had 70 metres to the pin at three, but I got too cute with the approach. I put it in the bunker and couldn’t up-and-down for par. I hit my tee shot at four way left, but managed to find it. My second shot didn’t draw and the ball landed right of the car path, but I stuck it to a foot and made the birdie putt.”
Moralee hit it long at the par three seventh and left himself with an impossible up-and-down, but his wedge shot at the eighth pitched three feet from the hole to set up another birdie.
“I also birdied nine, 11 and 13 and that kept me ahead of Ruan and Philip,” said Moralee. “The course set up made it tough on everyone and no-one could really fire at the flags.
“That keep me steady. I parred 14, 15 and 16, but 17 was a shambles. I hit it short of the green and hit my second shot too heavy. The ball caught the fringe and rolled back down to 25 feet. My third shot got within six feet and I made the bogey putt. Philip missed a short one and Ruan three-putted.
“I must admit, it was a relief to know I could just make a par at the last to win. With the swing changes it was sometimes really hard to commit to certain shots under pressure, but I came through with the win, and that’s really gratifying and inspiring.
“It’s my first big win on the pro circuit, so it’s exciting. I usually play my best golf around this time of the season, but with the swing changes, I wasn’t expecting to win. This definitely justifies my decision not to go back to college golf in the States. I’ve learned a helluva lot in the last three months and it’s all showing in the way I played this week. To perform well given that my game is a work in progress gives me the confidence to target a few more trophies in the Race to Q-School series.”
Meanwhile Anton Haig – a five-time winner on the country’s premier golf development circuit – fired 67 to grab a share of fourth on 205 with Ruan Korb, who returned a 70.
Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie Ivanna Samu, Race to Q-School Order of Merit leader Estiaan Conradie and Clinton Grobler carded respective rounds of 68, 69 and 70 to tie for sixth at 207 and Luke Brown shot 66 to finish a further stroke back.