27th January 2016 | IGT Challenge Tour
Toby’s Tip a treat for Southgate
JOHANNESBURG, 27 January 2016 – Louis de Jager enjoyed another great day with the short stick to retain pole position in the Killarney Open, but the Tshwane professional will have European Tour campaigner Matthew Southgate chasing his tail in the final round of the IGT Tour event at Killarney Country Club on Wednesday.
De Jager posted a four-under-par 66 to finish at nine under, but Southgate lurks at seven under after carding a 66 of his own.
The Thorpe Hall pro arrived in South Africa in early January for the BMW SA Open Championship.
He was feeling pretty chipper after making the weekend at Glendower, but a short week at the Joburg Open was a blow for the 27-year-old European Tour Q-School graduate.
Luckily, Southgate got a solid tip from fellow Englishman Toby Tree, a former IGT Tour winner and a familiar face on the South African fairways.
“Toby has been coming out to South Africa for years now,” Southgate said.
“He used to come and compete in the SAGA amateur events and played the IGT Tour between tournaments and he continued after he turned pro. He’s always telling me it’s a great circuit to stay competitive and they play great courses.
“When I didn’t get into Qatar this week, I decided to give it a try. We’ve got the Tshwane Open coming up in two weeks and I don’t want to miss another cut.”
Southgate hit two good shots to tap-in distance at the first and second to open with a pair of birdies, but lost the early advantage with bogeys at six and seven.
“I hit dreadful shots into both greens and deserved those bogeys, but at least I got back to two under with birdies at eight and nine,” he said.
“I hit a wedge close at the eighth and hit eight irons really close at nine and 10. I missed a birdie chance at 10 and made two really solid pars at 12 and 13. Then I got a little lucky at 15.
“My second shot just missed the hazard. I managed to hit a great chip to 30 feet and boxed the putt for birdie. Three good pars to finish and I’m in the final group on Thursday. Doesn’t get any better than that…. It’s what I was hoping for. It’s great to have a target to chase and a little pressure.”
Meanwhile 2015 Sunshine Tour Q-School winner Hennie du Plessis and five-time IGT Tour winner Antonio Rosado also carded a pair of 66s.
Du Plessis from GFG Academy had birdies at three, five, six and eight and offset a double bogey at nine with an eagle-three at 15 to finish in third place on five under, while Portugal’s Rosado reeled in five birdies to vault to finish at further stroke adrift.