13th June 2017 | Big Easy IGT Golf
Mowat stalks De Jager at Centurion Challenge
(PHOTO – Callum Mowat; credit Lee Roux)
TSHWANE, 13 June 2017 – IGT Challenge Tour graduate Callum Mowat and rookie Kyle Barker kept in touch as joint overnight leader Louis de Jager shot to the top of the pile in the Centurion Challenge on Tuesday.
The three-time Sunshine Tour winner was composure personified as he fired eight birdies in the second round at Centurion Country Club for a flawless 64 to open up a four shot lead at 12 under 132. Mowat took route 66 for a share of second with Barker, who registered a 68.
De Jager began day two tied for the lead with Barker and Divan Marais at four under and had his foot on the accelerator from the start as he burst out of the blocks with back-to-back birdies.
The 30-year-old from The Els Club Copperleaf widened the gap with a brace of birdies at 14 and 15 and a fifth gain at 18 before he reeled in three more at one, five and seven for a four shot cushion.
Mowat graduated the country’s premier golf development circuit at the end of 2013.
The 25-year-old Modderfontein golfer returned to the country’s premier golf circuit to put his game under pressure in tournament conditions to see how it holds up and he was surprised to find himself in contention.
“I am striking the ball really well, but my putting has been horrendous all year and it’s the only thing holding me back,” he said. “I’m nowhere near where I need it to be, but I’ve got a few more events to go. Hopefully I get my groove back before my next Sunshine Tour start in July.”
Mowat was two off the pace after opening with a 70 and a double at 11 didn’t help his cause.
“I opened with a solid par at 10, followed by a double at 11,” said the GFG Academy player. “So not the start I was looking for. Then I chipped in from the bunker at 12 for eagle and that straightaway got the double out of my head.
“I took an aggressive approach at 14 and 16 with the driver and cleared the water, leaving myself 40-off metres in. I made both birdie putts and the putt at 18 also dropped to take me to five under. I birdied one, but I left a few out there on the back nine that I should have made.”
He did make the birdie putts at seven and nine, though.
“Nice to finish with a birdie for a change,” he said. “Seeing so many red numbers feels great. Louis isn’t the calibre player who goes backwards, so it will take something really special to catch him. I will probably have to shoot a 64 or 65 to have half a chance, but things are looking up; it’s not out of the question if the putter behaves.”
Barker birdied 13 and 16 and he racked up four more in the first five holes on the back nine to get within two shots of De Jager, but the Randpark rookie let it slip with bogeys at seven and nine.
Amateur pair JP Cooper and Dean Martin round out the top five. Cooper from Wingate carded a 66 to move to seven under and Dainfern’s Martin finished a further stroke back after a superb 65.