; IGT Tour champions score in Swaziland – The Citizen

IGT Tour champions score in Swaziland

IGT Tour champions score in Swaziland

Three-time champions Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Michael Palmer and Drew Roelofsz led the way for the IGT Tour campaigners in the Big Easy Tour’s Kings Cup in Swaziland.

Bezuidenhout made the most of his chances in Swaziland to grab the winner’s share of the R200,000 prize money – which is double the usual purse on the Big Easy Tour – and vaulted to third in the Order of Merit, courtesy of a R28,000 pay day.

The 19-year-old Wanna Be A Champion golfer produced a masterclass in target golf and surrendered just three shots at the Royal Swazi Sun Country Club for successive 67s. He won by three strokes from Gideon Pienaar and Riekus Nortje on 10-under-par 134.

Palmer carded rounds of 72 and 70 to tie for sixth on two under 142, while Roelofsz rode his winning form from last week’s Gary Player School for Champions Academy Classic to rounds of 71 and 73 for a seat on the nine-man bus at even-par 144.

Pienaar’s tie for second was worth R19,280 and he leapfrogged 2014 IGT Tour winner Bryn Flanagan for the lead in the money list, while Palmer kept his fifth place standing.

“We follow the progress our regular campaigners and winners on the Big Easy Tour very closely and it is rewarding to see our players doing well,” said IGT Tour commissioner Cois du Plooy.

“Going to Qualifying School is serious business for serious golfers, and requires the highest standard of excellence for a player to have any chance of obtaining a card.

“We give the players a strong competitive environment to prepare them for the transition to the Sunshine Tour. We believe as administrators that it is our duty to advise the rookie pros and amateurs, especially, to make an educated decision about their future. So we keep comprehensive statistics on their progress and The Big Easy Tour is a great barometer for us to see how our players measure up.”

Bezuidenhout turned professional on the IGT Tour in March and scored his first victory in the paid ranks at the Centurion Academy Classic in just his second start on the country’s premier development Tour.

His exceptional iron-play saw him outclass Sunshine Tour champions Doug McGuigan and Theunis Spangenberg for his second victory in the Sishen Open in July. Less than three weeks later, he celebrated his third win in the Pro Squad Classic.

“You have to be patient and take things step by step to excel,” Bezuidenhout said after his victory at Wingate Park Country Club.

“A select few can go from zero to hero in five minutes; for the rest of us it requires patience, hard work and perseverance. It starts with a good grounding and then you go from there. As the top amateur in South Africa I got a lot of opportunities, but amateur events don’t really prepare you for the pressure of the paid ranks.

“I found out on the IGT Tour how very competitive it is. Anyone can win, so you have to learn to produce your best golf under pressure and to get yourself in the running every week. And when it goes your way, you have to you have to make the most of it.”







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8 December 2018 THE VAAL

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