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Ruan Conradie captures the win at Wingate

Conradie

Pretoria rookie Ruan Conradie capped off a brilliant week at his home course to win the 14th event in the Race to Q-School Series on Wednesday.

Beginning the final day with a one-shot edge over Wynand Dingle, the 21-year-old took route 66 at Wingate Park Country Club to close out his eighth victory on the country’s premier golf development circuit.

Conradie triumphed with a three-day total of 17-under-par 199, finishing six shots clear of Gary Player School of 2017 member Toto Thimba Jnr, who vaulted to second with a four-under 68.

Sunshine Tour campaigner Dingle wound up joint third with Tokkie van den Berg and Pieter Moolman on nine-under. Dingle carded a 73, Van den Berg shot 69 and Moolman closed with a final round 72.

The R10 000 pay-day moved Conradie within R1 184 of the top spot, currently occupied by younger brother Estiaan. With four events remaining, he could finish the season leading both the Money List and the Race to Q-School Order of Merit on the IGT Challenge Tour if he maintain his winning form.

‘That’s something to play for, but I’m just thrilled that I shot the lowest round today; I got R500 and the keys to the family Camry for the next week, so Estiaan has to ride shotgun,’ chuckled Conradie.

‘It was actually a lot tighter at the start than the final leaderboard suggests. I birdied the second, but Wynand and Pieter birdied the first and second holes. I felt the pressure, but I knew the birdies would come if I just kept patient.’

Then Dingle made three successive bogeys from the third and Moolman fired seven straight pars to the turn. Although Conradie dropped a shot at the fifth, he recovered with birdies at six and eight to take control down the back nine.

He started with four straight pars, but the writing was on the wall when he drained a monster putt for eagle at the par-five 15th. ‘I hit it inside 10 feet at all four holes, but the birdie putts wouldn’t drop,’ said Conradie.

‘The eagle at 15 was the turning point. The pin was tucked left and after a good drive, I had 210 metres in. I aimed for the middle right so I could use the slope to get to close to the pin and I hit it right on target. I had about 50 feet to the pin and I put quite a bit of pace on the putt. I expected it to pull up short, but it kept going and dropped in the hole.’

Conradie parred the short hole, knocked in a 20-footer for birdie at 17 and two-putted for birdie at the par-five closing hole to put the seal on a fantastic comeback.

‘My confidence definitely took a knock when I played poorly in the qualifier for the BMW SA Open,’ said the Wanna Be A Champion Academy player. ‘I had worked hard over the holidays, but I just wasn’t sharp. After I missed the cut in my last two Race to Q-School starts, I went back to the drawing board and started from scratch.

‘I felt good coming into this week and it definitely helped to be in familiar surroundings. The game and the confidence are back at the level it was at the end of last year. Q-School is just a few weeks off, so this win couldn’t have come at a better time.’

Picture of Conradie with Wingate Park Country Club Golf Director Shane Hayes courtesy of CJ du Plooy

Final Scores
199 – Ruan Conradie 67 66 66
205 – Toto Thimba Jnr 69 68 68
207 – Tokkie van den Berg 69 69 69, Pieter Moolman 69 66 72, Wynand Dingle 67 67 73
208 – Francois Coetzee 70 70 68, Peetie van der Merwe AMA 68 71 69, DK Kim (KOR) 71 66 71
209 – Benjamin Follett-Smith (ZIM) 70 66 73
210 – Louis Albertse AMA 73 70 67, Stals Swart AMA 67 73 70
211 – Herman Loubser 73 70 68, Philip Geerts (ITA) 73 68 70, Makhetha Mazibuko 68 70 73, Estiaan Conradie 72 64 75, Teboho Sefatsa 67 68 76
212 – Maritz Wessels 73 67 72, Teaghan Gauche 71 66 75, Tristen Strydom 70 67 75
213 – Werner van Wyk 75 68 70, Michael Palmer 72 70 71, Duane Keun 71 73 69, Dayne Moore (ZAM) 69 70 74
214 – Heinrich Bruiners 74 69 71, Bennie van der Merwe 73 69 72, Ruan Huysamen (NAM) 75 66 73
215 – Jade Buitendag 72 70 73, Ivan Mare AMA 73 71 71, Conway Kunneke 69 72 74, Ruan Korb 68 69 78
216 – Roberto Lupini 74 67 75, Hendrikus Stoop AMA 74 71 71, Jaco Prinsloo 76 69 71
217 – Michiel Bothma 74 69 74, Rourke van der Spuy 72 70 75, Andrew Carlsson AMA 72 73 72, Michael Schutz 75 70 72, Combrinck Smit 71 68 78
218 – Matt Bright 74 68 76, Jonathan Waschefort 71 72 75, Phillip Kruse AMA 71 72 75, Gianni Pera AMA 72 73 73
219 – Ruhan van Dijk AMA 74 70 75, Juran Dreyer AMA 74 71 74, Luke Brown AMA 77 68 74, Keanu Pestana AMA 72 73 74, Marthin Scheepers 74 71 74, Reynhard Reynecke AMA 74 71 74, Zabastian de Jager 76 70 73, Marco de Beer 69 77 73
220 – Gerard du Plooy 73 71 76, Gary Daoust (BEL) 73 71 76, Jason Roets 73 73 74, Omar Sandys 74 72 74
221 – Eric Park (KOR) 72 73 76, Juan Langeveld 73 73 75
222 – Michael Faasen AMA 69 73 80, Thriston Lawrence 75 71 76
223 – Quintin Wilsnach 76 70 77
224 – Dylan Mostert AMA 74 72 78
RTD – Armand van Dyk AMA 73 72 RTD


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