10th June 2015 | IGT Challenge Tour
Mighty McIntyre on the march at Eagle Canyon
JOHANNESBURG, 10 June 2015 – A winning attitude, a new ball and home course advantage helped amateur David McIntyre to the first round lead in the BDGA Academy Classic on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old Eagle Canyon resident navigated the par-72 layout in 66 strokes to give himself a three-stroke cushion in his third IGT Tour start.
“There are a bunch of experiences pros on my tail, so it’s nice to have a little breathing room ahead of the second round,” said McIntyre, who finished well clear of professionals Herman Minnie, TJ Bekker, Mark Williams and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
The BDGA Academy member finished fifth in his IGT Tour debut at the CA Academy Classic in May and fourth in the Tour Bound Academy Classic last week. Hoping to break into the winner’s circle this week, McIntyre gave himself a solid start with an eagle and seven birdies.
“Knowing the course well is a definite advantage,” McIntyre said.
“It’s the kind of course where you have to know where you can get aggressive and where to play it safe. The set-up was very fair, but it’s a challenging layout. If you hit it offline, the course will bite you.”
McIntyre got his campaign off to a great start when he holed out for eagle at the par-five second.
“I hit a fairly good drive and I was aiming my six-iron just left of the pin,” he said. “I finished pin-high left, just outside Jaco Mouton and I got a great read off his putt.”
He was disappointed with a bogey at the third, but rallied with a hat-trick of birdies and turned three under after another bogey at nine. He dipped to four under with birdie number four at the par-four 10th and closed with a pair of birdies after another bogey-birdie combination at 13 and 14.
“I hit it in the water at 13, but I figured that ball’s retirement was long overdue,” McIntyre joked. “You have to take things like that in your stride and focus forward. I made a solid birdie and 14 and finished with back-to-back birdies, so I was able to fight back again.”
He was especially pleased with his two at the par-three 17th.
“The pin was middle right and I went with a nine-iron,” he said. “I misjudged the wind a little and finished at the front of the green. I was 50 feet from the pin, but I know the green well. I wanted to lag it close, but it dropped on the last roll of the ball. That was definitely the highlight of my round.”
McIntyre’s star definitely appears to be on the rise.
He began competing on the South African Golf Association’s national circuit this season and has climbed from outside the high 300’s to 100th on the Open Amateur ranking in a matter of months.
“My main goal was to improve my ranking and try earn points in every event I play,” said McIntyre, who notched two top 20 finishes in his last three starts.
“I was in contention this weekend in the Border Championship, but stuffed it up in the last round. I just remind myself that I’m on a learning curve; I take what I can from the experience and move on.
“I really enjoy mixing up the amateur events with the IGT Tour. I can see the benefits already, because I have become far more goal orientated and competitive and the level of my game is definitely improving.
“I’m still a long way off the top 10 in the rankings, but I’ve already come a long way in six months and that’s the positives I focus on.”
The young gun could have his work cut out if former number one ranked amateur Bezuidenhout catches fire.
The IGT Tour winner turned two over, but birdied 10, 12, 14, 15 and 16 and made a superb par-save at the 18th to join the bus at three under.
FIRST ROUND SCORES
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as (AMA)
66 – David McIntyre (AMA)
69 – Herman Minnie, TJ Bekker, Mark Williams, Christiaan Bezuidenhout
70 – Danie Pretorius
71 – Hilton Hughes (AMA), Jeff Inglis ENG, Tyron Roelofsz, Sean Coomer (AMA)
72 – Joubert van Eeden (AMA), Rae Mackie, David Ashley (AMA)
73 – Dylan Mostert (AMA), Conway Kunneke, Bryandrew Roelofsz, Christiaan Pretorius, Bryce Leach (AMA), Tyrone Ferreira, Jaco Mouton, Otto van Greunen
74 – Louis Botha, Christian Olivier (AMA), Norman Beggs, Simon Kruger (AMA), Morne Wolmarans (AMA), Ruan Huysamen NAM, Devan Payne (AMA), Steven Ferreira
75 – Matthew Adams (AMA), Mark Bright, Adriel Poonan (AMA)
76 – Angus Ellis-Cole (AMA), Matt Bright (AMA), Tyrone Ryan, Ryan Cairns ZIM
77 – Etzard Grimbeek (AMA), Cole Dodgen (AMA), CJ Levey (AMA), Louwtjie J van Vuuren (AMA), Brendan Britten NAM, Sheldon Steyn ZIM, Gerard du Plooy
78 – Duane Keun, Barend Herbst (AMA), Stephan Erasmus (AMA), Brad Diffenthal
80 – Michael Armstrong (AMA)
82 – Ryan Wingrove (AMA)
83 – Wayne du Toit
86 – Marais Visagie
87 – Francois van Rensburg (AMA)
88 – Cameron Gunning
89 – Jabu Radebe
90 – Duan Nagel (AMA)
91 – Gregory Beltramo
92 – Vid Gobac (AMA)
94 – JP Basson (AMA)
111 – Joseph Ramodise (AMA)
RTD – Ramon Rigney
DSQ – Juan de Bruin (AMA)