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Good Samaritan Moolman celebrates success

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Ekurhuleni golfer Pieter Moolman won the 12th event in the IGT Challenge Tour’s Race to Q-School on Wednesday despite a topsy-turvy start to his day.

Moolman and girlfriend Jeanine Wolvaardt stopped to help a disorientated victim in a car accident to safety near her home in Kempton Park.

The pair had barely driven a kilometre before they ran into an unexpected road closure and had to double back to find an alternative route to Centurion. But the Good Samaritan made it to his 8.30am tee time with 10 minutes to spare and sounded a loud warning when he parked a 5-iron approach three feet from the hole at the first and boxed the putt for an eagle start.

Moolman finished just as strongly with four birdies on the trot from the par five 15th to close out a three-stroke victory on 17-under 199 with a final round 65.

‘After the start to the day, I didn’t expect to be holding the trophy,’ said the 26-year-old Lake Club Benoni golfer. ‘I’m over the moon.

‘Last year I came close twice but lost out over the closing holes. After I slipped back in the middle of the round, I just told myself it’s not happening again and I put my head down and got it done.

‘Jeanine and I were just three kilometres from her house when we saw an oncoming car hit the car in front of us. We helped the driver out of the car, but we only got about a kilometre when we ran into a road block for a crime scene.

‘I had about 10 minutes left to get my shoes on and I managed five putts to warm up before I had to be on the tee. I think the adrenaline was still pumping when I hit that first tee shot. To be honest, the eagle didn’t do much to calm me down, but it definitely set me up for the win.’

Moolman carried a two-shot lead into the final round over Pretoria rookie Albert Venter and Sean Bradley from the Western Province.

He made six straight before a bogey at eight, but he birdied nine to turn one-under. However, Venter racked up six birdies to pull two shots clear and he was one shot behind Bradley, who fired a trio of birdies and eagled the par-four ninth.

Moolman pounced when Venter dropped three successive shots from 10 and Bradley failed to take advantage of his birdie chances at 12 and 13.

‘I bogeyed at 11, but I regained the momentum with birdies at 12 and 13,’ said Moolman. I hit a good tee shot at 12, and chipped it to a few feet, but I missed the eagle chance. At 13, I hit my second to about 12 feet and holed the putt for birdie.

‘Once I got the lead, I knew this was my chance. I thought about the close calls at The Els Club Copperleaf and Pecanwood. I knew I had to make some birdies to win.’

Moolman made a great up-and-down for birdie from just left of the green at 15 and knocked in a 10-footer for birdie at 16. His tee shot at the 17th went long, but he drained the 25 foot putt for birdie.

‘I left myself a 10-footer for birdie at 18 and it was the best feeling in the world when the ball disappeared down the hole,’ said the HPC Tuks Golf Academies player.

‘I’ve felt for a while that my game is at the best level it’s ever been and it’s such a gratifying thing to see all the hard work over the last year finally pay off. It’s great to be able to pay back everyone who has supported me with this victory. Jeanine is definitely due a candlelight dinner, so we’ll see where the car takes us tonight.’

Bradley returned a flawless 66 to take second on 14-under and Venter birdied 14 and 18 to finish a shot back in third.

IGT Challenge Tour winner Louis Albertse catapulted to fourth on 11-under 205 and collected the R500 low round of the day prize. The reigning Mpumalanga Open champion fired 12 birdies and needed just 23 putts for his 10-under-par 62.

Picture of Moolman courtesy of CJ du Plooy

Final Results
All competitors SA unless otherwise specified and amateurs are indicated as AMA:
199 – Pieter Moolman 65 69 65
202 – Sean Bradley 69 67 66
203 – Albert Venter 64 72 67
205 – Louis Albertse AMA 71 72 62
206 – Leon Vorster AMA 70 69 67, Aubrey Beckley 67 71 68
207 – Tristen Strydom 69 69 69, Zabastian de Jager 68 69 70
208 – Philip Geerts (ITA) 66 71 71
209 – Andre van Heerden AMA 68 73 68, Andi Dill 69 72 68, Jade Buitendag 68 72 69, Maritz Wessels 67 72 70, Matt Bright 69 70 70, Makhetha Mazibuko 68 69 72, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 70 67 72
210 – Eric Nel AMA 69 72 69, Damian Naicker 69 73 68, Paul Boshoff 68 74 68, Heinrich Bruiners 69 73 68, Ruan Korb 70 72 68, Nobuhle Dlamini (SWA) 73 67 70, Estiaan Conradie 71 72 67, Michiel Bothma 70 74 66
211 – Ruhan van Dijk AMA 71 70 70, Antonio Costa (CHL) 68 73 70, Omar Sandys 74 69 68, Roberto Lupini 70 68 73, Ruan Huysamen (NAM) 73 73 65
212 – Armand van Dyk AMA 69 72 71, Arno Pretorius AMA 67 74 71, Theunis Bezuidenhout AMA 67 73 72, Duane Keun 67 75 70
213 – Carlo Heunis AMA 72 68 73, Andrew Carlsson AMA 69 71 73, Gerard du Plooy 76 68 69, Danielle du Toit AMA 71 74 68, Peetie van der Merwe AMA 70 76 67
214 – Phillip Kruse AMA 68 73 73
215 – Clinton Grobler 72 68 75, Tertius van den Berg 72 72 71, Francois van der Walt AMA 76 70 69
216 – Richard Joubert 70 71 75, Marthin Scheepers 69 73 74, Juan Langeveld 72 70 74, Eric Park (KOR) 65 75 76, Ruan Conradie 70 75 71
217 – Marco de Beer 74 69 74, Allister de Kock 76 70 71
218 – Tom Watson AMA 67 75 76, Jason Roets 72 70 76, Hendrikus Stoop AMA 69 74 75, Jonathan Waschefort 75 71 72
219 – Jaco van der Merwe AMA 72 74 73
221 – Teagan Moore 70 72 79, Tumelo Molloyi AMA 69 73 79, Mitchell Kock AMA 72 74 75
223 – Edwin Stafford AMA 72 74 77
228 – Igor Milicic (SRB) 73 73 82
N/R – John McClean (NIR) 73 69 N/R
DSQ – Irvin Mazibuko 67 71 DSQ


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