Golf 13.9.2016 10:26 pm

Lewthwaite lights up Ebotse

Lejan Lewthwaite; credit CJ du Plooy

Lejan Lewthwaite; credit CJ du Plooy

Rookie Lejan Lewthwaite fired nine birdies to press home a two shot advantage in the second round of the IGT Tour’s Ebotse Links Challenge on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old from Benoni wrapped up the low round honours with a five-under-par 67 at Ebotse Links Golf and Country Club that moved her into pole position at seven under 137.

Lewthwaite began the second round in a three-way tie for second and one stroke behind overnight pacesetter Ockie Strydom, who is stalking trophy number 13 on the country’s premier development Tour.

Although she dropped shots at the third and fourth, Lewthwaite outgunned Strydom with a flurry of five birdies from six to 10 and countered bogeys at 14 and 15 with another brace of birdies at the closing holes.

Meanwhile Strydom slipped to second with a 70, while 15-year-old Ekurhuleni junior Jayden Schaper closed with a 71 to finish a further two shots back.

Lewthwaite graduated Texas State University last year and finished her amateur career with a runner-up finish in the SA Women’s Open in December.

She joined the pro ranks in her second start on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in January and, when the season wrapped up in March, she joined fellow campaigners Carrie Park, Nobuhle Dlamini, Nicole Garcia, Francesca Cuturi, Michelle Leigh and others on the IGT Tour to fine-tune her game for the 2016 Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in December.

In addition to a runner-up finish in the Houghton Open in May, Lewthwaite blew into contention in the Lake Club Challenge last week and signed off with her fourth top 10 finish in 12 starts.

She was pleased to a strong performance at her home course with another solid showing at Ebotse.

“It’s really great to be in contention two weeks in a row,” said the Wanna Be A Champion player. “I’m out here to learn to handle pressure situations and it doesn’t get much tougher than this.

“I played with two Sunshine Tour pros – Breyten Meyer and Heinrich Bruiners – and that also brought unknown pressure and it all adds up to make me stronger mentally and better prepared.

“My coach Doug (Wood) and I have worked on a lot of technical aspects of my game since the start of the season, but a few weeks ago, our focus switched to the mental side of the game. All this pressure is very good for me, because it helps me focus on my goal right – to train myself to stay in the moment. I don’t think about my score, or how many birdies or bogeys I’ve made.”

Lewthwaite said she is relishing the opportunity to go head-to-head with Strydom in the final three-ball on Wednesday.

“I don’t really know Jayden, but Ockie is a bit of a legend on the IGT Tour, so I know we can both learn a lot from him,” Lewthwaite said. “Yes, it would be great to win, but I don’t want to get bogged down by records and such.

“My focus right now is on improving, so I will just be aiming to get through round with the best score possible. The back nine is a tougher loop, so I want to limit my mistakes and give myself the chance to finish inside the top three.”

 

SECOND ROUND SCORES

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

137 – Lejan Lewthwaite 70 67

139 – Ockert Strydom 69 70

141 – Jayden Schaper AMA 70 71

142 – Tyrone Ferreira 71 71

143 – Elmo Barnard AMA 71 72

144 – Michael Schutz 71 73, Jake Redman 75 69

145 – Teagan Moore 74 71, James Pennington AMA (SWA) 71 74, Carrie Park 71 74

146 – Andrew Carlsson AMA 74 72

147 – Ray Badenhorst (ZIM) 72 75, Johary Raveloarison (MDG) 74 73, Gary Daoust (BEL) 72 75

148 – Pieter Moolman 76 72, Leon Visser AMA 75 73

149 – Simon Kruger 77 72, Aneel Kallan AMA 77 72, Hilton Hughes AMA 71 78

150 – Coert Groenewald 75 75, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 77 73, Breyten Meyer 79 71, Tristen Strydom AMA 72 78, Shaun Barrett AMA 72 78, Duane Keun 70 80

151 – Michelle Leigh 71 80

152 – Francesca Cuturi 75 77, WM Coetzee AMA 76 76

153 – Divan Marais 74 79, Cameron Gunning 78 75, Stephan Erasmus AMA 76 77, Paul Rodrigues AMA 77 76

154 – Phillip Kruse AMA 78 76

155 – Michael Kok AMA 77 78, Shaun van Tonder 78 77, Heinrich Bruiners 79 76, Angelo Marques AMA 81 74, Bradley Diggeden AMA 80 75, Tristan Nel AMA 80 75, Hayden Griffiths AMA 77 78

156 – Sam Metcalfe AMA 80 76, Gareth Anderson AMA 79 77, Steven Le Roux AMA 73 83

157 – Ruan Korb AMA 78 79, Jordan Burnand AMA 78 79, Jordan Parsons AMA 78 79, Kyle Opperman AMA 83 74, Eric Nel AMA 83 74

Missed the cut:-

158 – Deon Bredenkamp 77 81, Brett Liddle 83 75

159 – Daniel Joubert AMA 84 75

161 – Wayne du Toit 83 78

162 – Dwayne Coetzee 84 78, Russel Franz 81 81, Nico Du Buisson AMA 83 79

163 – Michael Van Rooyen 78 85

164 – Jack Duthie AMA 84 80, Hanro Booysen 82 82

165 – Duan Nagel AMA 76 89

166 – JP Schmidt AMA 83 83, Hendrikus Stoop AMA 80 86

167 – Dylan Lavagna-Slater AMA 89 78

168 – Liam Van Deventer AMA 83 85, Liam Bezuidenhout AMA 79 89

170 – Jason Ackerman AMA 84 86

182 – Jonty B Shelton AMA 90 92

WDN – Peter Wilson (ENG) 78 WDN

N/R – Damian Naicker 79 N/R, Oliver Bekker 76 N/R

RTD – Danie Van Tonder 72 RTD

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