Golf 27.7.2016 04:22 pm

Eagle sees Strydom soar at Irene Challenge

CJ du Plooy. Photo: Tristen Strydom

CJ du Plooy. Photo: Tristen Strydom

The pair shared the first round lead with matching 69s, but Strydom began the final round with a two shot lead after posting a second round 67.

A superb eagle helped former SA number one amateur Tristen Strydom deny professional Terence Boardman a second IGT Tour victory this season and celebrate a welcome return to the winner’s circle in the Irene Challenge on Wednesday.

The Pretoria native eagled the par-five 17th and parred the final hole at Irene Country Club for one-over 73 to tie Boardman at seven-under-par 209 at the end of regulation play.

The two players squared the first hole in pars and eighth hole in birdies, and Strydom thrilled the crowd by rolling in a four-foot birdie putt at the ninth to settle matters at the third sudden-death hole.

The pair shared the first round lead with matching 69s, but Strydom began the final round with a two-shot lead after posting a second-round 67.

The Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate golfer made an impressive start to the final round when he rocked home birdie putts at the first and second holes to pull two shots clear of his pursuers, but he squandered five shots midway through the round.

“It was just one of those days where the putts didn’t drop and one or two wayward drives led to some bogeys,” Strydom said. “I kept my composure and stayed focussed, but I knew I needed a change in fortune down the home stretch.

“I had to make the most of the par-five (17), because I knew I could get on the green for two with my distance, but it would need two really good shots. I hit the driver down the middle of the fairway and I had 168 metres to the pin. I hit an eight-iron and it came out perfectly. It landed five feet from the hole and I boxed the putt for eagle.”

Strydom was back in pole position at seven-under, while fellow amateur Kyle McClatchie emerged from the crowded leaderboard to move to six-under with a birdie at 16. Boardman joined the amateur at six-under after birdies at 15 and 17.

“Kyle finished with two pars, so it was down to Terence and I on the final hole,” Strydom said. “I hit my approach pin-high left at 18 and chipped it close, but I missed the birdie putt. Terence knocked home his birdie putt, so it was play-off time. The eagle definitely came at the right time. It gave me an injection of confidence and the kick I needed to take him on in extra time.

“I missed a four-footer for birdie to win at the first, and we were both on the green for two at the eighth. I had an eight-footer for birdie and Terence had about 12 feet to the pin and we both made our putts.”

At the ninth, Strydom hit driver down the middle and Boardman pushed his tee shot left under the trees. Boardman punched out to about 70 metres short of the green and hit his third shot to 18 feet, while Strydom’s approach finished pin-high right of the green.

“I chipped to four feet, Terence missed the birdie putt and I knocked mine in for the win,” said Strydom, who claimed a maiden victory on the country’s premier development tour late in 2014.

“It feels really great to hold a trophy again. I definitely believe I benefited greatly from the Golf RSA National Squad camp this past weekend, because I never got impatient and I just kept grinding. I think I turned a huge mental corner today and it will serve me well going forward.

“I’m really glad I could pull this through for my parents and my coach, Grant Hepburn, because they never lost faith in me when I started doubting myself. It’s good to be back and to feel that passion to win burning strong again.”

FINAL RESULT

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified and amateurs are indicated as AMA:

209 – Tristen Strydom AMA 69 67 73 (3rd play-off hole)

209 – Terence Boardman 69 69 71

210 – Kyle McClatchie AMA 76 66 68

211 – Ray Badenhorst (ZIM) 73 68 70

213 – Dean Martin AMA 74 69 70

215 – Graham van der Merwe 74 70 71

216 – David Nortje AMA 76 70 70, Joshua Seale 73 73 70, Duane Keun 74 72 70, Damian Naicker 70 76 70, Estiaan Conradie AMA 74 72 70

217 – Carrie Park 71 70 76

218 – Matthew Spacey 73 72 73, Theunis Bezuidenhout AMA 72 72 74

219 – Teagan Moore 76 70 73

220 – Etienne Janse van Rensburg AMA 74 73 73, Ruan Korb AMA 70 75 75, Gregg Blainey (ENG) 71 73 76

221 – Hayden Griffiths AMA 75 72 74, Jacques de Villiers 73 71 77

222 – Gary Daoust (BEL) 74 74 74, Dwayne Coetzee 79 68 75, David McIntyre AMA 78 69 75

223 – Andrew Plint AMA 73 75 75

224 – Xander Basson AMA 74 74 76, Wesley Baptiste AMA 72 77 75, Sheldon Steyn (ZIM) 84 68 72, Francesca Cuturi 84 72 68

225 – Phillip Kruse AMA 70 83 72

226 – Ruan Conradie AMA 75 74 77, Jannie Botha 75 73 78, Stephan Erasmus AMA 72 74 80

227 – Juan Swart 76 73 78, Chris van Tonder AMA 72 77 78, Nikola Uskokovic AMA 82 72 73, Kyle Barker AMA 78 77 72, Ru-Juan Lessingh AMA 73 71 83

228 – Jandre Fullard AMA 77 76 75, Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 80 75 73

229 – Tristan Nel AMA 76 71 82, Driekus Gous AMA 77 79 73, WM Coetzee AMA 81 76 72

230 – Eric Nel AMA 78 72 80, Leon Vorster AMA 77 74 79, Maverick Faber AMA (FRA) 74 77 79, Bryce Myburgh 77 76 77, Wayne du Toit 80 77 73

233 – Bradley Diggeden AMA 80 74 79, Leon Visser AMA 78 77 78, Ruan Potgieter AMA 82 75 76

234 – Marc de Jager AMA 79 77 78, Cole Dodgen AMA 80 77 77, Christopher de Beer AMA 76 81 77

235 – Divan Marais 78 75 82

237 – Thabi Ngcobo AMA 82 74 81, Gerard du Plooy 80 77 80

238 – Louis Botha 77 78 83

244 – Stephane van Neer AMA (COD) 81 75 88

N/R – Quintin Crause AMA 81 75 N/R

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