8th May 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Roets jumps into the fire at State Mines
(PHOTO – Jason Roets; credit CJ du Plooy)
PRETORIA, 8 May 2017 – Johannesburg golfer Jason Roets grabbed a share of the three-way tie at the State Mines Challenge in his first start on the IGT Challenge Tour on Monday.
Just a week after he returned from the United States, the 24-year-old from Eikenhof opened with a three-under-par 69 to join Sunshine Tour player Breyten Meyer from Southern Cape and former Sunshine Tour campaigner Bennie van der Merwe from Alberton in pole position.
“It should have been better, but any time you shoot under par it’s a good day,” said Roets.
The South African attended the University of North Texas on a scholarship and graduated with a degree in Sports Management in 2015. Last year he split his time between his job as an assistant golf pro at Stonebriar Country Club in Frisco and the Adams Tour, a feeder circuit for the Web.com and PGA Tours.
“I had a great time in the United States, but it was time to come home,” said Roets. “I’m just not sure how things will unfold, but for the moment, it’s great to the back on the IGT Challenge Tour.
“I plan to play the IGT circuit for the next couple of months while decide what comes next. I might go back to America to try out for Q-School or go to Europe. I played the IGT some years ago and it’s a great tour. It’s a very well organised circuit and very competitive, which is exactly what I’m looking for right now.”
Roets navigated the front nine in even-par and reeled in three birdies after the turn for his 69.
“I had a solid run out there,” he said. “The conditions were great and there wasn’t much wind. The course is in great nick and the greens are rolling nicely.
“I made birdie at the first par five (third) but dropped the short hole (fifth). I pushed my tee shot and hit what I felt was a good chip shot, but it didn’t come out great and I ended up making a quick and easy four.
“The birdies at 10, 11 and 12 were all mid-range putts off some good tee shots and second shots. But I didn’t par the other par five (15), which was disappointing. I was pretty solid tee to green, but when you don’t take advantage of the par fives, you always feel like you left a few out there. I made some good pars over the last six holes and it was pretty satisfying to start the season this way.”
Mistakes on the back nine cost both Meyer and Van der Merwe the outright lead.
Meyer eagled the par four sixth and offset a bogey at five with birdies at four, seven and 10 to get to four under, but a double bogey at the par four 13th was his undoing. He finished with a birdie for a share of the lead.
Van der Merwe mixed bogeys at eight and 16 with gains at two, four, eight, 10 and 15.
Mpho Mafishe from the Gary Player Class of 2017 racked up three birdies on the back nine to join the bus at two under that also features Tertius van den Berg, Quintin Crause, England’s Chris Cannon, David Mofokeng from Lesotho and amateurs Eric Nel and Mitchell Lightfoot.
Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie Ivanna Samu shares 11th spot at one under with last week’s Killarney Challenge winner Anton Haig, Pieter Moolman, amateur Ruhan van Djik and Sunshine Tour rookie Jason Smith.