31st March 2017 | IGT Challenge Tour
Young Turks win 2017 IGT Challenge Tour opener
(Photo – Dylan Mostert and Kyle Barker; credit CJ du Plooy)
JOHANNESBURG, 30 March 2017 – Amateur Dylan Mostert and rookie Kyle Barker executed a well-laid game plan to bag a pair of maiden IGT Challenge Tour titles in the Wanderers Better Ball Challenge on Wednesday.
The young Turks upstaged a strong cast of professionals for victory at the Wanderers Golf Club, including former SA Open champion Brandon Stone, multiple Sunshine Tour winners Tyrone Ferreira, Merrick Bremner and Ruan de Smidt and the 2016 Rookie of the Year Christiaan Bezuidenhout, a four-time former winner on the country’s premier golf development circuit.
Mostert from Ekurhuleni and Randpark’s Barker racked up a total of 10 birdies – including a string of six around the turn – for a final round 10-under-par 62. The duo celebrated a two shot victory on 27 under 186 over Ferreira and Mark Williams, who combined for 63 in the final round.
Barker and Mostert began the final 18 holes in a tie for the lead with Bezuidenhout and rookie Combrinck Smit.
The pair both made four at the opening par five to keep pace with co-leaders.
“Kyle birdied three, five and seven and at the eighth, his chip for eagle just lipped out, but we got the birdie to take the outright lead,” Mostert explained. “At the ninth, I hit a flop shot to give and tapped in for birdie.”
The pair turned six under and kept the momentum going with a pair of gains at the 10th.
“I birdied 11 and Dylan made birdie at 12 to take us to nine under, but we both messed up at 13,” Barker said. “Both of us overshot the green for three and walked off with bogeys.
“Dylan was in a trees at 14, but he got it on the green with his second and he holed a monster 40-footer for our last birdie. Then we just parred our way to the win. We are seriously stoked with this result. We decided that if we won this week, we’d take a few days off and reward ourselves with a trip to the Kruger National Park. We can’t wait to pack and hit the road.”
Mostert said they worked out a strategy for the final round and it panned out nearly perfectly.
“After two rounds, we knew the front nine is the scoring nine,” the State Mines golfer explained. “We decided to chase birdies on the front nine to pull clear of the field. The back nine is a lot tighter, with three short holes and the par fours are a lot longer. There aren’t that many scoring opportunities, so we wanted a strong start and then let good course management guide us home. We stuck to the game plan and carried us to the winner’s circle.
“We had a word for the week and every time one of us felt a little too much pressure or got a little anxious, that one would shout “Husssband”. It’s just a word we dug up, but that mantra made all the difference. We feel good about beating such a strong field this week, but just a little bad that we beat our coach at GoflWorx. Still, this one is thanks to you Neil (Cheetham). Maybe next time, coach.”
Meanwhile Bezuidenhout and Smit – who set the first round target with a 71 and co-led the second round after a 65 – closed with a 66 to tie for third with Anthony Michael and Ryan Tipping, whose final round 61 featured a pair of eagles and seven birdies.
Musi Nethunzwi and Sipho Bujela combined for a final round 66 to tie for eighth at 18 under as the top placed pair from the Gary Player Class of 2017.