21st September 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf
Rambo hunts more IGT Tour glory
TSHWANE, 21 September 2015 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout rode his rich vein of form to grab a share of the first round lead in the IGT Tour’s GFG Academy Classic on Monday.
The 19-year-old Delmas professional lay an early foundation for his fourth victory on the country’s premier golf development Tour with eight birdies to sign for a brilliant seven-under-par 65 at Irene Country Club.
Of the 97 players in the field, Bezuidenhout certainly had an enjoyable day, but he was not the only one and if Bezuidenhout hopes to pad his trophy cabinet, he will have to stave off a number of other strong contenders
Toto Thimba Jnr was equally impressive with birdies on all the par fives and a lone bogey on his card to grab a share of pole position.
Eddie Taylor moved within two strokes with a trio of birdies and an eagle and shares third on 67 with fellow pro Jonathan Waschefort and Gauteng North amateur Ruan Conradie.
Bryandrew Roelofsz – another three-time champion this season – also took advantage of the fine conditions and pristine putting surfaces to finish three off the pace.
The Edenvale golfer is joint sixth with IGT Tour winners Lean Boezaart and Juan Swart, as well as GFG Academy’s Simon Kruger, who has been in threatening form over the last four weeks.
But it was Bezuidenhout and Thimba Jnr who stood at the top of the pile following outstanding first round performances
“It was one of those days where you very much enjoy being on a golf course,” said Bezuidenhout.
“It was slightly overcast with just a little breeze to stir things up. I dropped at the first hole but I got back to level with a birdie at five.
“I made three birdies in a row before the turn and I managed to sink four more birdie putts on the back nine.”
The Wanna Be A Champion golfer has been struggling with his putter, but found some rhythm and pace when he needed it most.
“I putted much better and that made the difference. In the last couple of tournaments, I’ve been able to shoot two or three under, but the putts weren’t dropping.
“Today they rolled exactly where I was aiming. Once you get going, it kind of becomes simple. I’m definitely keen to win again, but it’s really important to concentrate on consistency at this stage, because that’s the game that will win tournaments on the Sunshine Tour.”
Reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion Carrie Park carded a one under 71 to tie for 15th.
The GFG Academy player leads by one from Bertine Strauss, who recently won the First Stage of the LPGA Tour’s Qualifying School and finished three strokes clear of Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini.
Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Nicole Garcia opened with a 77.
FIRST ROUND SCORES
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as (ama)
65 – Toto Thimba Jnr, Christiaan Bezuidenhout
67 – Ruan Conradie (ama), Eddie Taylor, Jonathan Waschefort
68 – Lean Boezaart, Bryandrew Roelofsz, Juan Swart, Simon Kruger
69 – Divan Marais (ama), Matthew Vogel, Kyle Barker (ama), Conway Kunneke
70 – Glen de Waal NAM, Gareth Atkinson (ama)
71 – Keanan Aysen (ama), Louis Taylor (ama), Jason Diab, JP Schmidt (ama), Keegan Steyn (ama), Duane Keun, Joubert van Eeden (ama), Carrie Park (ama)
72 – Reinhardt Blaauw (ama), Matthew Adams (ama), Christiaan Pretorius, Ockert Strydom, CJ Levey (ama), Jan-Louis Nel (ama), Pieter Kruger, Devan Payne (ama), Lourens Du Plessis, Bertine Strauss, David Lamprecht, Jaco Mouton
73 – Jacques De Villiers, Siphiwe Siphayi, Dylan Docherty (ama), Brett Liddle, Dougie Meijer
74 – Nico du Buisson (ama), Dylan de Beer, Werner Lourens (ama), Zillan Du Pisani (ama), Jandre Fullard (ama), Tom Watson (ama), Nobuhle Dlamini SWA
75 – Chris van Tonder (ama), Chris Haefele, Ruan Potgieter (ama), Waldi Potgieter (ama), Norman Beggs, Ruan Huysamen NAM, Callum Mowat, Justin Levy NLD, Bryce Myburgh, Zander Potgieter (ama), Louis Botha, Ryan Wingrove (ama), Matt Bright (ama), Ramon Rigney
76 – Cole Dodgen (ama), John McClean NIR, Andre Pistorius, Niel Theron (ama), Andrew Carlsson (ama), Wesley Baptiste (ama), Dwayne Coetzee, Jacques De Villiers (ama)
77 – Nicholaus Frade (ama), Conor Thornton IRE, Graham van der Merwe, Ruan Korb (ama), Stephan De Beer, Stephan Erasmus (ama), Juan De Bruin (ama), Amerigo Renieri (ama), Danie Pretorius, Romano Saincic, Nicole Garcia
78 – Angelo Marques (ama), Sheldon Steyn ZIM, Tjaart Van Wyk (ama)
79 – Gareth Akers (ama)
80 – Carlos Arroyo (ama), John Palm (ama)
81 – Richard Tsai (ama), Hanko Bothma (ama), Clinton Cheia (ama)
82 – Matthew Hands (ama), Dean Schonegevel (ama)
83 – Jonty B Shelton (ama), Glen Taute (ama), Michael Pienaar (ama)
84 – Justin Godfrey
88 – Tung-nan Lin (ama) TWN
90 – Heinrich Venter (ama)
DSQ – Nicolaas Stolp (ama)