29th January 2018 | IGT Challenge Tour
Quartet tied at top at Wingate Park
(PHOTO – Teboho Sefatsa; credit CJ du Plooy)
PRETORIA, 29 January 2018 – Teboho Sefatsa made it a four-way tie for the lead in the opening round of the 14th event of Race to Q-School series on the IGT Challenge Tour on Monday.
The former Sunshine Tour winner was back at his ball-striking best as he produced a flawless five-under-par 67 to join rookie Ruan Conradie, Pretoria amateur Stals Swart and Sunshine Tour player Wynand Dingle at the top of leaderboard at Wingate Park Country Club.
Indeed, the Gary Player School of 2017 member could have taken the outright lead, but his birdie attempt on the 18th green stayed above ground.
He was nevertheless pleased to join the lead in his fourth appearance on the country’s premier golf development circuit this season.
“It was nice to shoot a good round today and put myself in a position” said Sefatsa. “You want to win every time you play, but this game doesn’t really work like that. I played a lot better than I did at Modderfontein last week and it would be special to keep this going.
“It was a pity about the par at the last and I only made one birdie on the front nine, so it could have been better. But I think five under is a good position to be in. I would love to get my hands on this trophy, especially with the Q-School Final Stage in March getting closer all the time.”
Conradie led the Race to Q-School Order of Merit, but he lost the top spot to brother Estiaan after missing the cut in the last two events in the series. The local lad was thrilled to hit some form after two disappointing weeks.
“I only dropped one shot at the par-four 12th and that’s is really encouraging,” said the 21-year-old Wanna Be A Champion Academy player.
“I just started hitting the right shots at the right time again. I made crucial putts and par-saves where it counted and when I did hit a bad shot, I recovered from it. That’s what adds up to good scores, so I’m moving back in the right direction.”
Dingle eagled the second and birdied the third before he gave a shot back at the par-four sixth, but the Colesberg native rallied with 10, 15 and 17 for his 67, while Stals from Pretoria Country Club racked up eagles at two and 13 and cancelled two bogeys with a trio of birdies.
The leading group only has a slender one shot lead on a large chasing pack that features Ruan Korb, Gary Player School of 2017 player Makhetha Mazibuko and Peetie van der Merwe from the HPC Tuks Golf Academy.
Pieter Moolman, Toto Thimba Jnr, Marco de Beer, Tokkie van den Berg, Zambia’s Dayne Moore, Conway Kunneke and Kyalami amateur Michael Faasen lurk a further shot back.