3rd November 2014 | IGT Challenge Tour
Strydom hits the front at Benoni Race to Q-School
BENONI, 3 November 2014 – Pretoria amateur Tristen Strydom made a flying start to the IGT Tour’s fifth Race to Q-School at Benoni Country Club on Monday.
The 17-year-old Serengeti golfer racked up six birdies on his way to a four-under-par 68.
He leads by three strokes from early pacesetters Dylan de Beer and Shaun van Tonder and Italian amateur Philip Geerts and finished six strokes clear of Portugal’s Antonio Rosado, a five-time winner this season on the country’s premier development Tour.
The Vilamoura golfer leads the bus at even-par that include professionals Dwayne Coetzee, Mpho Mafishe, Niel Meyer, Johary Raveloarison and Danie Pretorius, as well as amateurs Ross Sinclair and Hennie Du Plessis.
Strydom teed it up at Benoni Country Club on the back of a top 10 finish at the Eastern Province Stroke Play Championship on Sunday.
Although he will take a three stroke cushion into the second round, the recent Glacier Junior Series National winner is far from confident.
“I am just very frustrated on the greens at the moment,” he said. “In three rounds at Humewood I only missed six fairways. Today, I hit 11 out of 14 fairways and 16 greens in regulation. My score should be better, but the putter is just completely unpredictable.
“I am hitting the ball as well as I’ve ever done in my career, but I have no idea what will happen when I get to the green. I’m sinking 20-footers and missing six-footers. Five and 15 were both three-putt bogeys from makeable distances.
“I know it’s just a matter of time before I figure it out, it has been very frustrating.”
Strydom boxed a 25-foot putt at the eighth for birdie, but missed an eagle opportunity from 10 feet at the next hole. He reached the green in two at the par-five 10th, but three-putted from close range.
“It is infuriating when you strike the ball well and you are giving yourself chances to score, but then you ruin it on the greens,” said the reigning SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play champion.
“The course is in great shape and the greens are nice and fast. I’m happy that I scored well enough to lead. I’ve just got to keep my game together and continue to play as I did today.”
At the start of the season, Strydom set himself the goal of reaching the top five in the South African Golf Association’s Open Amateur rankings.
“I had a couple of match play wins, and a couple of close calls this season,” he said. “I broke into the top 10 after top three finishes in the Race to Asian Q-School at Wingate Park and CMR in August and September. I’m at number seven after Port Elizabeth, so I’m close.
“That’s why I play the IGT Tour between events, because it keeps me competitive and focussed. I gain more from playing against the pros than standing at the driving range, hitting balls. I can keep my game sharp and I need it for the last couple of tournaments.”
Ladies European Tour rookie Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland opened with a three over 75 to lead the ladies in the field.
FIRST ROUND SCORES
68 – Tristen Strydom (AMA)
71 – Dylan de Beer, Shaun van Tonder, Philip Geerts ITA (AMA)
72 – Antonio Rosado POR, Dwayne Coetzee, Mpho Mafishe, Rosswell Sinclair (AMA), Niel Meyer, Hennie Du Plessis (AMA), Johary Raveloarison, Danie Pretorius
73 – Keegan Steyn (AMA), Michael Steyn (AMA), Justin Levy NED, Simon Kruger (AMA), Ryan Gosling, Teagan Moore (AMA), Otto van Greunen, Breyten Meyer (AMA), Duane Keun, Matthew Spacey (AMA)
74 – Joubert Van Eeden (AMA), Wesley Horngren, Stephan Erasmus (AMA), Christiaan Pretorius, Glen de Waal NAM, Rae Mackie
75 – Clinton Cheia (AMA), Dylan Docherty (AMA), Russel Franz, Hilton Hughes (AMA), Tjaart Van Wyk (AMA), Nobuhle Dlamini SWZ
76 – Matthew Adams (AMA), Jonathan Waschefort, Armandt Scholtz (AMA), Jerry Steyn, Nico Du Buisson (AMA), Paul Boshoff (AMA)
77 – JP Schmidt (AMA), TJ Bekker, Coert Groenewald, Romano Saincic, Jacquin Hess, Conway Kunneke, Herman Minnie, Brendan De Lange, Divan Marais (AMA)
78 – FG Dorfling (AMA), Mark Fairbank (AMA), Stefan Cronje (AMA), JC van Dommelen
79 – Michael Armstrong (AMA), Pieter Van der Linde (AMA)
80 – Murray Smit, Jacques de Villiers, Crystal Cooper (AMA)
81 – Robert Herselman, Leon Scheepers (AMA)
82 – Werner van der Walt
83 – Quintin Crause (AMA), Lourens Du Plessis
84 – Dyllan Lavagna-Slater (AMA)
86 – Corne Bloem
87 – Etzard Grimbeek (AMA)
89 – Matt Milligan (AMA), David Marks (AMA)
90 – Gustav Erasmus
94 – Wayne Stroebel
N/R – Gabriel Erasmus