27th February 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour

Waschefort lights Race to Q-School #18 at Centurion

CenturionDay1 (84)(PHOTO – Jonathan Waschefort; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSHWANE, 27 February 2017 – Jonathan Waschefort produced a scintillating eight-under-par 64 to take the first round lead in the final Race to Q-School event on Monday.

The 26-year-old Tshwane golfer raced down the back loop at Centurion Country Club in 30 strokes to turn six under and bookended his back nine with a pair of birdies to open up a one stroke lead over the experienced Coert Groenewald and Thriston Lawrence.

Groenewald also handed in a flawless card that boasted five birdies and an eagle at the par-four ninth, while Lawrence – fresh off a tie for fourth in last week’s weather-interrupted Race to Q-School #17 at Randpark – had just one blemish on an otherwise pristine card.

Amateur Armand van Dyk fired a six under 66 to mix it up with the pros, finishing in a tie for fourth alongside Centurion’s Juan Swart.

There is a lot at stake for the long-hitting Waschefort this week.

The top five players in the Race to Sunshine Q-School Order of Merit at the end of the 18-week long Race to Q-School series automatically qualify for the Sunshine Tour’s Final Stage qualifier. He is currently lying eighth in the standings, but if Waschefort can ride this form to the finish line on Wednesday, he will skip his scheduled First Stage Qualifier at State Mines and tee it up at Randpark Golf Club in two weeks.

Delighted to find himself atop the leaderboard Waschefort said the rankings is not a priority right now.

“Yes, there is a lot at stake this week, but I’ve pushed it to the back of my mind,” said the Wanna Be A Champion player. “I don’t want to get distracted thinking about the rankings and the possibilities. I’m trying to shoot the best possible score I can in every round and hopefully things will work out.”

Waschefort said he made the most of a wet course, a hot putter and some great irons to pull clear of the field.

“The course is pretty soaked, so you could really attack the pins,” he said. “The key to scoring here is to hit it really well off the tee to put yourself in a good position for your second into the greens. I was able to do that really well today.

“I didn’t miss any greens and most of my putts on my front nine were outside three feet, but the putter was red-hot over the first nine holes. Once I got it to seven under with the birdie at the first, I played a little more cautiously because I didn’t want to start about low numbers.

“I wanted to make sure I kept a clean card and I was really pleased that I managed to keep the bogeys off the card, even with missing two greens on my back nine. I stuck to my game plan and I produced a solid first round, with some really good tee shots, great irons and good putting. That’s the kind of form I want to be taking to Q-School.”

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