7th February 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Spacey lights up at Killarney Race to Q-School
JOHANNESBURG, 7 February 2017 – Matthew Spacey birdied three of his last four holes at Killarney Country Club to race into the early lead at the weather-affected Race to Q-School #15 on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old Dainfern golfer – fresh off a runner-up finish and joint ninth in his last two starts in the on the IGT Challenge Tour – produced a scintillating six-under-par 64 to set a clubhouse target that went unchallenged until play was suspended due to flooding at 17h00.
Dean O’Riley moved to six under through the 15, but an untimely bogey at 16 saw the Ebotse pro finish one shot back. Werner van Wyk and Coert Groenewald also had chances, but too many blue numbers left the duo in joint third at three under 67.
Edoardo Torrieri from Italy, Francois Coetzee and Paul de Beer all got within four shots of the lead through nine holes when play was called and the trio will try to close gap on Spacey when the first round resumes on Wednesday.
Long-hitting Spacey was pleased to find himself in pole position just a month before the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School.
“I’m really pleased; thrilled if I’m honest,” Spacey said. “I played poorly in the first event after the festive break and it was a real eye-opener. I doubled my work rate to make sure I can put myself in contention in the last couple of events. My goal was to get top 10 finishes in all of them, so I’m seriously happy with this start. It sets me up nicely for the last two rounds.
“After this week we only have three more Race to Q-School events left. That means three just more chances after this week to finish in the top five of the Order of Merit to go straight to Final Stage.”
After opening with a birdie at the tight, tree-lined layout, Spacey banked further gains at three, five and seven and dropped his lone bogey at the ninth. This sparked a run of straight pars down the back nine as he tried to limit the mistakes. A birdie at the par five 15th got his momentum going and he notched in a brace of birdies at 16 and 17 before closing with a par.
“The greens at Killarney are quite small, but you don’t want to miss them,” Spacey said. “The rough is thick and sticky around the greens and they have lots of run-offs, so you want to make sure you put it on the dance floor.
“I hit my worst iron shot of the day at nine and couldn’t get up-and-down from the bunker to save par, so I just kind of free-wheeled it down the back nine, making sure I was hitting fairways and greens to keep the damage to one bogey.
“I am striking the ball really well and the few fairways I missed wasn’t by much, but the putter was key today. I positioned myself well into the greens and made the putts that counted. Hopefully I can keep that going for the next two days.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the IGT Challenge Tour.
Cois du Plooy
Tour Commissioner – IGT Challenge Tour
TELEPHONE: Office – 078 3300 440 / Cell: 081 502 9719
EMAIL: [email protected]
ABOUT THE IGT TOUR
The IGT Challenge Tour launched in 2010 and has fast grown into South Africa’s premier developmental golf tour, offering a tailor-made gateway for amateurs aspiring to join the pro ranks. As the recognised feeder circuit for the Sunshine Tour, the IGT Challenge Tour provides significant financial opportunities and incentives, and statistical feedback with a full playing schedule of 36-hole, 54-hole and 72-hole tournaments that enable its members and non-members to perform at a high level in a strong competitive environment. The annual schedule also includes an 18 event series towards the end of the season geared at preparing prospective professionals for the gruelling stages of Qualifying School.