10th April 2018 | IGT Challenge Tour

Slatter in pursuit of Pennington in Germiston

Slatter in pursuit of Pennington in Germiston

(Photo – Keaton Slatter; credit CJ du Plooy)

JOHANNESBURG, 10 April 2018 – Johannesburg amateur Keaton Slatter will try to hunt down former Central Gauteng team mate James Pennington when the pair tee go head-to-head in the final round of the IGT Challenge Germiston on Wednesday.

“This is going to be really tough on Michael Balderstone,” joked Pennington, referring to the pairs’ coach at The Golf School of Excellence.

The Swaziland rookie preserved his overnight lead with a second round 70 to top the pile at seven-under-par 137 at Germiston Golf Club, but Slatter pull within a shot of his target with a 67. Divan Marais from Centurion returned a 68 to slot into third at five-under.

Pennington offset a trio of bogeys on the front nine with three birdies and he kept his maiden pro title hopes alive with another trio of gains on the back nine. Slatter, meanwhile, went through the turn at two under after gains at three, five and eight and a lone bogey at seven.

“I birdied 13 and was looking to go back-to-back after a great drive down 14,” said the 23-year-old, who plays out of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington.

“I hit a lob-wedge to 10 foot from about 78 metres out, but finished on the wrong side of the flag. Nevertheless, I got a good stroke on the putt, but it lipped out. Then return putt for par horse-shoed right back at me.”
He bounced back straightaway with a birdie at the par three 15th and made two more at 16 and 17.

“I hit a soft 8-iron into the wind at 15. The ball pitched a foot from the hole and spun back to two foot, so an easy tap-in birdie to get back to three under,” he said.

“I missed the green 40 metres right at 16, but I made a good up and down for birdie. At 17, I hit another great drive down the middle of the fairway and a sand-wedge to 15 feet and holed the putt.

“It’s great to be in contention and to have the chance to chase James in the final round. We played together for Central Gauteng, so we know each other well and it should be a great contest.”

Slatter made his debut on the country’s premier development circuit in 2016. He plans to turn professional and play the IGT Challenge Tour full time, but only after representing Central Gauteng for a second time in the Challenge Cup next month.

“I tested the waters on the IGT Challenge Tour in 2016 and played a couple of events last year. I believe competing against the pros definitely helped me to mature as a golfer. The standard will be even higher this year with the new Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour. I might have turned pro sooner, but it’s such a privilege to represent Central Gauteng again and it would be great to finish my amateur career on a high note by helping my union to win the Challenge Cup.”

Slatter’s low round of the day was matched by Leon Vorster, who moved to joint fourth on four-under, and Bryce Myburgh, who finished a further shot adrift in eighth place.

Second Round Scores

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA.

137 – James Pennington (SWA) 67 70

138 – Keaton Slatter AMA 71 67

139 – Divan Marais 71 68

140 – Leon Vorster 73 67, Dylan Mostert 68 72, Ruhan van Dijk 69 71, Hendrikus Stoop 71 69

141 – Bryce Myburgh 74 67

142 – Michiel Bothma 68 74, Maverick Faber AMA (FRA) 71 71

143 – Kyle Barker 75 68, Bradley Diggeden AMA 71 72

144 – Michael Kok 73 71, Quintin Crause 75 69

145 – Ruan Groenewald 70 75, Stephan du Toit AMA 71 74

146 – Leon Visser 75 71, Romano Saincic 71 75, CJ Levey 76 70, Gary Daoust (BEL) 73 73

147 – Nico du Buisson 71 76

148 – Mpho Mafishe 74 74

149 – Divan de Villiers AMA 76 73, Jonathan George AMA 74 75, Neville Mitchell AMA 75 74, Fritz Orren AMA 72 77, Landon Ferguson AMA 78 71

150 – Shaun van Tonder 74 76, Duan Nagel AMA 77 73

151 – Keanu Pestana AMA 71 80, Kelsey Nicholas 79 72

152 – Chase Paton AMA 72 80, Massimo Roch AMA (CAN) 76 76, John McClean (NIR) 76 76, Stephan Erasmus 77 75, Tyron Taylor AMA 80 72

Missed the cut:-

153 – Henning du Plooy AMA 83 70, Andy Haasbroek AMA 75 78, Chiara Contomathios 80 73

154 – Shalan Govender 79 75

155 – Dylan Morton AMA 77 78

156 – Robert Tilbury 76 80

157 – Leslie Grandet (MDG) 79 78

159 – Luke Kelly 78 81, Liam Clinton AMA 78 81

161 – Neo Mokgatle AMA 78 83

163 – Dean du Plessis AMA 81 82, Jabu Radebe 85 78

165 – Trevor Taylor AMA 81 84

RTD – Jason Roets 75 RTD

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the IGT Challenge Tour.

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