23rd October 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Moralee makes his move at Ruimsig
(PHOTO – Cameron Moralee; CJ du Plooy)
ROODEPOORT, 23 October 2017 – Dainfern amateur Cameron Moralee raced through the front nine at Ruimsig Country Club to make a flying start in the third Race to Q-School on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old racked up five birdies to complete the first loop in 31 strokes and offset a lone bogey at 14 with birdies at 15 and 18 to take the first round lead with a six-under-par 66.
Bryce Myburgh and Philip Geerts from Italy tied for second on 68, with Deon Bredenkamp, Michael Schutz and Ruan Korb a further stroke back in a tie for fourth.
After a birdie at four, Moralee flicked the switch to make four consecutive birdies from the sixth to charge up the leaderboard.
“I boxed a four-footer at six, holed a 30-footer from the back of the green at seven and hit it to four feet again at eight,” he said. “At the ninth, I holed a 10-footer for birdie.
“I hit a good drive down 14, and had 195 metres to the flag. The wind was blowing hard and I stepped on a four-iron, but I finished in the bunker. I was on the downslope and I hit it too thin and finished at the back of the green. I lagged the first putt close, but the par-putt lipped out.
“It was nice to birdie 15 to cancel the drop and I was happy with the birdie at 18. It’s a tricky finishing hole. You have to go down the right to have a good angle into the green, but that brings the rough and the water hazard into play. I’m not exactly straight with the driver at the moment, but I went down the right, prayed I would find the ball and did.”
Fresh from a season at Keiser University in Florida, Moralee made an immediate impression with a tie for third in his first start on the country’s premier golf development circuit at Woodhill. He tacked on consecutive top five finishes in the first two events of the Race to Q-School series, but he is keeping his expectations low.
“Obviously it’s great to be in front, but I’m not getting ahead of myself,” he said.
“I’m working on some swing changes with John Dickson over at Copperleaf. Growing up at the coast, I’ve always had a narrow stance, so we are trying to widen my stance. I also used to have my thumb a little over, but we’ve got it in a more neutral position now, so it’s a work in progress.”
Shortly after Moralee won the Freddie Tait Cup as the leading amateur in the 2016 SA Open, he left for Florida and took up a golf scholarship at Keiser University.
He earned First Team honours with two top five and five top 10 finishes, but despite helping his team to fourth in their division and being named to the All-Freshman, All-Region and NAIA All-American squads, Moralee elected to come home.
“One season was enough to convince that the college circuit doesn’t suit everyone,” he said.
“I went over there to play golf, but it rains from June through October in Florida. Here at home we have a very competitive amateur circuit. All that rain and not playing regularly just frustrated me.
“Shortly after I got back I played the First Stage of The European Tour Qualifying School, but I didn’t play well in the first round and that left me out of position for the rest of the week. You can’t put a price tag on experience, though, so I don’t regret my time with the Seahawks or going to Europe.
“I really enjoy the IGT Challenge Tour circuit. I’m building confidence and gaining experience against strong competitors and I’m competing regularly. That’s what I want.”