IGT Challenge Tour with Centurion Country Club and Glendower Golf Club5705911131856">GFG Academy at Glendower Golf Club.
Play-off perfection from Park at Glendower
EDENVALE, 23 February 2017 – Rory McIlroy would have given anything to match the heroics of IGT Challenge Tour campaigner Carrie Park and Nobuhle Dlamini at Glendower’s par four 18th hole where he lost in a play-off to England’s Graeme Storm in the men’s South African Open in January.
Park from South Korea and Swaziland’s Dlamini Nobuhle both spectacularly birdied the 18th in regulation play to finish at five-under-par 211 in joint first place in Thursday’s final round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic sponsored by Canon.
Just as McIlory and Storm went up and down Glendower’s 18th in a sudden-death play-off for the SA Open title before the Northern Irishman bogeyed the third extra hole to hand victory to the Englishman, Park and Dlamini did the same dance.
While Dlamini was targeting a maiden win in the pro ranks, 19-year-old Park was bidding for a second Sunshine Ladies Tour victory after her breakthrough success in the SA Women’s Masters in January.
With pressure mounting, the pair traded pars for the first three trips down 18 before 19-year-old Park boxed a three-footer for birdie to seal victory at the fourth extra hole.
The petite Centurion golfer smashed a drive down the middle of the fairway and hit an eight-iron pin high to about three feet. Dlamini was even longer off the tee, but she left her approach 20-foot short of the hole and could only manage a par.
“It was tough out there with the rain because the course playing long,” said Park, who picked up shots at holes 13, 15 and 18 for a two-under-par 70. “I made some good par putts and some good birdie putts, especially on the back nine to get it to five under.”
Park collected the winner’s cheque worth R28 000 and Dlamini banked R23 000 for second, but the 320 points that came with first place gave Park a boost to third in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies.
“It’s not very easy when someone like ‘Nobby’ is bombing it forty yards past you, but Nobby and I go way back,” said Park with a chuckle, referring to Dlamini who can boom it 290 to 300 metres off the tee. “We both played for Gauteng North and we used to be foursome partners. It was a good scrap between two good friends in the play-off.
“This win comes at the right time, because I’m leaving to compete in Korea next week and I’ll miss the next two tournaments. But I’m third in the points, so I won’t fall out of the top 10 for the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Final while I am away. I’ll keep my spot for Millvale.”
Big-hitting Dlamini – with Killarney’s head professional Warrick Druian guiding her on the bag – produced the day’s best 67, which included an eagle-three at the par five 13th, where she hit the green with a booming drive and a five-iron, before rolling in a 35-foot putt.
Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies leader Kiran Matharu had a 20-footer for birdie at the last which would have moved the English player to six under and given her the title had it dropped. The first attempt rolled six feet past and she missed the return for a 71 to tie for third on 212 with last week’s Dimension Data Challenge winner Nicole Garcia.
France’s Valentine Derrey took fifth on 213 in her Sunshine Ladies Tour debut, while overnight leader Ashleigh Buhai closed with a disappointing 74 to finish in sixth place on 214. Centurion’s Kim Williams also closed with a 74 to finish a further shot adrift.
Symone Henriques started with an unhappy 82, but the 15-year-old from Glenvista fired a superb 67 followed by a 75 to win the leading amateur honours on 224.
“Besides being a tour for the top professionals, but thanks to the additional financial support we receive from Investec Property, the Sunshine Ladies Tour is also a development opportunity for the amateurs,” said Women’s PGA of SA executive director Barbara Pestana.
“It is wonderful to see them make the most of the opportunity to compete and to learn at this level and we are extremely pleased to see them coming through so well.”
The first round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic sponsored by Canon was a complete wash-out and Pestana said the tour owed Glendower a debt of gratitude for helping them finish the 54-hole event on schedule.
“Glendower was a wonderful venue as usual and it’s great that were able to get over the finishing line in spite of the deluge of rain on Tuesday when no play was possible,” Pestana said. “Thanks to their efforts, the players will have a couple of days to rest up before the Sun International Ladies Challenge at Sun City next week.
PHOTO - Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic sponsored by Canon champion Carrie Park; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.
Please note that this image is the property of the Sunshine Ladies Tour. It is FREE FOR USE with editorial copy only.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA. ... See MoreSee Less
IGT Challenge Tour added 19 new photos — at Centurion Country Club.
IGT Race to Q-School #18
Final race to Q-School event.
Centurion Country Club
27 Feb Monday - 1 Mar Wednesday
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IGT Challenge Tour added 168 new photos to the album: IGT Challenge Tour Randpark Firethorn 20-22 February 2017 — with David Terrence Ashley and Sean Bradley at Randpark Golf Club.
Final Day Photos ... See MoreSee Less
IGT Challenge Tour with GFG Academy at Randpark Golf Club.
Levey lights up at Randpark
RANDPARK, 22 February 2017 – Pretoria golfer CJ Levey left nothing out on the Firethorn Course as he winged his way to a second IGT Challenge Tour victory in Race to Q-School #17 on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old fired a five-under-par 67 to beat rookies Ruan Conradie and Paul Boshoff to step into the winner’s circle with a one-shot victory on seven under 137.
The three T’s – Tristen Strydom, Thriston Lawrence and Terence Boardman – tied for fourth at four under, while Jabulane Mabilane closed with a 73 to grab a share of seventh at three under with fellow first round leader Jacques de Villiers and rookie Estiaan Conradie.
Levey was thrilled to end a 10-month winning drought so close to the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School next month.
“This was just what I needed,” Levey said. “I was involved in a car crash shortly after I won the Pro Squad Classic last April and it took me a long time to recover. My coach (Graeme Francis) and I also began working on two swing changes that took a while to come together, so I definitely didn’t expect to be standing here with a trophy in my hands just before Q-School.
“This gives me a lot of confidence and my coach and my mate Simon Kruger deserves some credit. Simon took the bag this week and he did an incredible job of keeping me relaxed but in the moment. He just had the right words at the right time. While I worked on the swing changes, I had my doubts. You put in all that hard graft, but you can’t help wondering if it’s worth it. To lift the trophy is the best reward for the work we’ve done and this is a win for all three of us.”
The GFG Academy player was two shots behind the four-way tie at the top after a first round 70 on Monday, but he had a 24-hour long wait to launch his title bid when second round was abandoned after flooding rendered the course unplayable.
Levey made a solid start with a birdie at the second hole, but Ruan Conradie burst out of the gates with a four-birdie run to shoot to the top of the pile. Levey reduced the gap with back-to-back birdies at four and five, but he still lagged three behind Conradie at the turn.
“I had a three-putt bogey at six, but Simon turned to me and said that’s great; it takes the pressure of a bogey-free rounds, so now I could just play,” Levey said. “I hit a great shot into 10 and made the three-footer for birdie, but Ruan made birdie at 12 to stay three shots clear.
“We both birdied the par five, but I knew I had a chance when he dropped two shots at the short hole (15). I told Simon six under wouldn’t be enough to win, but 16 and 17 are two very tough holes. I had been hitting the three-wood really well all day, so I took it out the bag and hit a great one down 16. I had 130 metres to the pin, and flew a pitching wedge to 20 foot and holed the putt.
“Once I got it to seven under, I just wanted to play the last two holes solidly; no fancy tricks. I hit a good tee shot at 17 but it found the bunker and plugged just under the lip. It was a pretty tense moment but I did some good work there to up-and-down for par.”
Levey said the nerves set in on 18.
“I hit it short and had 15 metres short of the green and had to chip it up, but I got it in the hole for the win, and that’s all that matters,” Levey said. “It’s exciting to go to the last event in the Race to Q-School series next week on the back of a solid performance. Hopefully I can keep it going.”
FINAL RESULT (TOP 20)
137 - CJ Levey 70 67
138 - Ruan Conradie 70 68, Paul Boshoff 69 69
140 - Thriston Lawrence 71 69, Terence Boardman 71 69, Tristen Strydom 69 71
141 - Estiaan Conradie 71 70, Jacques de Villiers 68 73, Jabulane Mabilane 68 73
142 - Joubert van Eeden 71 71, Andi Dill 74 68, Elmo Barnard AMA 75 67
143 - Michael Schutz 72 71, Bryce Myburgh 73 70, Bryce McCabe 72 71, Matt Bright 71 72, Andrew van der Knaap AMA 71 72, Pieter Moolman 71 72, Stephan de Beer 70 73, Otto van Greunen 69 74, Gilson Filho (BRA) 68 75
PHOTO - CJ Levey; credit CJ du Plooy.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the IGT Challenge Tour. ... See MoreSee Less
IGT Challenge Tour with Randpark Golf Club at Randpark Golf Club.
Nyambi loves baptism of fire on IGT Challenge Tour
RANDPARK, 21 February 2017 – Tshepo Nyambi loves numbers. He especially loves numbers that guide and helps one to plan for effective solutions.
Numbers was the reason Nyambi spent 10 years at Statistics South Africa and numbers was why he partnered up with Norman Mashaba to start Shandukani, a management company guided young amateurs like Maketha Mazibuko, among others, into the pro ranks.
After a decade of playing with numbers, the Kimberley native switched gears. His love for the game of golf finally won out and these days, Nyambi is earning his stripes on the IGT Challenge Tour.
You won’t find him among the wave of young professionals and amateur hopefuls playing on the country’s premier golf development circuit, though.
The 40-year-old began an internship at the start of the season to train as a tournament director and right now, he is staging, starting and scoring.
On Tuesday, he also experienced his first case of ‘abandoned play’ when torrential rain forced the organisers to cancel the second round of the Race to Q-School #17 at Randpark Golf Club.
Nyambi will have to pitch up at the crack of dawn on Wednesday for the final round at the Firethorn Course, but he says he is having the time of his life.
“I followed the IGT Challenge Tour since it first launched back in 2010 and I watched the tour blossom,” Nyambi said.
“This tour gives our amateurs a realistic bridge between the amateur and pro ranks. Here they learn to cope with the pressure of the pro ranks, they build confidence and gain experience and they can make informed decisions about their future with the statistical data the tour provides.
“All these aspects really appealed to me. When I decided to get more involved with the administrative side of golf, the IGT Challenge Tour was a great fit.”
Nyambi has started right at the bottom, the only place he says, where you learn things the right way.
“I’m shadowing Cois du Plooy, the commissioner of the IGT Challenge Tour, who started this tour and learning the ropes from him,” Nyambi said.
“The only way to can tell people what to do is if you’ve done it yourself. So I’m learning everything there is to know, from marking tee boxes and pin positions; from starting to scoring and the rules of golf in between so I can sit the R&A Rules Exam next year.”
Mazibuko applauded the IGT Tour’s initiative to pull Nyambi into the fold.
“You won’t find a more passionate and committed guy than Tshepo,” Mazibuko said. “He supported me out if his own pocket when I first joined the pro ranks and I owe him a huge debt of gratitude for guiding me over the hurdles in those first few months on Tour.
“I think it’s fantastic that Tshepo is getting stuck into golf administration and especially on the IGT Challenge Tour, where he can guide a lot of the up-and-coming black golfers.”
Nyambi said his ultimate goal is to keep young golfers in the industry.
“Once I am qualified, I hope to train more golf administrators with Cois,” he said. “We lose many golfers every year who don’t have the talent, the means or the opportunities to turn pro or to make it into the pro ranks.
“We need to keep those golfers involved by bringing them into golf administration; teach them to run tournaments, to do the rules courses and so on. We should be doing everything we can to keep people with a passion for golf in the sport.”
Du Plooy also hopes Nyambi’s appointment will motivate more previously disadvantaged golfers to look to administration as a way to stay in the sport.
“Tshepo’s appointment corresponded with the deal between ourselves and the Sunshine Tour to host the 30-strong group of Gary Player School of 2017 members on the IGT Challenge Tour,” Du Plooy said. “He can dialogue with the players and his input has already proven invaluable, since he can provide us with great feedback on the day-to-day challenges that this group of players face. His passion and commitment for the game is infectious and we are excited to have him on board.”
PHOTO – Tshepo Nyambi; credit CJ du Plooy.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the IGT Challenge Tour. ... See MoreSee Less