7th November 2016 | IGT Challenge Tour
Trio tied at Race to Q-School #6
TSHWANE, 7 November 2016 – Bryanston amateur Andrew Carlsson peppered the flags at Irene Country Club to charge into a three-way tie for the lead in the opening round of the Race to Q-School #6 on Monday.
Bidding for a maiden IGT Tour title, the 23-year-old golfer piled up six birdies for a five-under-par 67 to professional Jaco Prinsloo. Pretoria amateur Albert Venter, coming off a top five finish in the Eastern Province Stroke Play Championship on Sunday, shot the best round in the afternoon wave to make it three at the top.
South Africa’s top ranked women’s amateur Ivanna Samu lurks one shot back with professionals Russel Franz, Justin Turner, Northern Ireland’s John McClean and Kempton Park amateur Ruhan van Dijk, who signed for a bogey-free 68.
Juan Langeveld and Bryce Myburgh closed out the top 10 with a pair of 69’s.
Carlsson spend seven months on the Challenge Tour on the bag for fellow Bryanston player Michael Palmer.
The former IGT Tour campaigner won three times on the country’s premier development golf circuit last year before he graduated to the Sunshine Tour with a tie for 10th at Qualifying School last December. The pair headed to Europe in March and Carlsson said the experience was eye-opening for both of them.
“The Challenge Tour is a tough place to cut your teeth, because there are a lot of good players, but you definitely gain a lot of experience, especially with all the country’s the tour visits,” he said.
“Something that stood out to me was just how hard the European players work. They don’t slack off after a round, not even if it’s raining. They are out there at the range or the chipping or putting greens and practicing till late.
“I think the South African players are even more talented than their European Tour peers, but they don’t quite share that work ethic. That might be why not more of our players make it to the European Tour. Mike and I learned a huge amount over there.
“While he is trying to make the Final stage at the Second Stage Qualifier in Spain, I wanted another stab at victory. I played really well last week, but I had a poor back nine in the final round at the Ebotse Links.”
Venter and Prinsloo both enjoyed five birdies and an eagle each – albeit not on the same par fives – but both surrendered two shots each against a lone bogey from Carlsson at the par four 14th.
“I putted well today and I am striking the ball well,” he said. “I put myself in a lot of good positions on the front nine, but it got tougher to put it close on the back nine. The wind came up and it was swirling a lot and that club selection and positioning tough. I’m pleased with the start and I just hope there is more of this tomorrow.”