5th September 2016 | IGT Challenge Tour
Rare bird sees Rohwer into Lake Club lead
(PHOTO – Martin Rohwer; credit CJ du Plooy)
JOHANNESBURG, 5 September 2016 – Martin Rohwer notched an eagle and a flurry of birdies, but when he locked down the lead in the Lake Club Challenge on Monday, the KwaZulu-Natal professional did it in the finest fashion.
Rohwer was the talk of the opening day after he holed out from the middle of the fairway at The Lake Club’s par five 10th hole en route to an opening seven-under-par 65 and a two shot advantage over Clinton Grobbler.
Stood 195 metres from the pin back left, the 23-year-old from Kloof took dead aim for the centre of the green with a four-iron and watched as the ball drew towards the pin.
“I had to hit over a bunker to the flag, so I didn’t see the ball land, but we knew it found the bottom of the cup when the guys at the green shouted back at us,” Rohwer said.
During the final year of his four year tenure at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Rohwer scored a course record eight under 64 at the Olympic Course of Golf Mountain during a NCCA regional event in Seattle, Washington in May last year. The 65 at The Lake Club was not a career low round, but it was definitely the highlight of his career.
“Making that albatross was an unbelievable rush,” Rohwer said. “It’s not something you ever think that you will achieve. It just got me pumped for the back nine.”
Rohwer double bogeyed the second hole, but made amends with birdies at the two par fives – three and four – and erased a bogey at seven with birdie number three at the eighth.
“I turned level par, but after that start I felt anything could happen,” Rohwer said.
“I birdied 11 and 12 to go four under, but I bogeyed 14 after my tee shot caught a bad bounce in the fairway. At the next par five (15), I was just short of the green and chipped in for eagle and I picked up another birdie at 17 to finish seven under.”
Rohwer will be heading to Britain in two weeks to compete in one Euro Pro Tour event before tees it up in the European Tour’s First Stage Qualifier in France.
“If you want to survive First Stage, you have to go in with your A-game, so that’s why I came up to Gauteng to compete on the IGT Tour,” Rohwer said.
“I was frustrated a few weeks back in my first event at Kyalami. I was one off the lead and played the final round with Kyle McClatchie, who won the tournament. Kyle went on a tear early on and I felt like I was playing catch-up for the whole round.
“I guess that also fired me up to make the most if today’s first round. I was sinking putts from five to 15 feet, so the putter is working well and I am striking the ball well, too. I hit all the fairways on the back nine and had mostly wedges in. It’s comforting to have a two shot cushion with two rounds to play and to know your game is in good shape, too.”
Duane Keun and amateurs Mohit Mediratta from Kenya and Pretoria’s Philip Kruse split third on two under, while amateur trio Ruan Conradie, Cameron Nesmith and Chris Wicks rounded out the sub-par rounds at one under 71.