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Second-round 67 helps Conradie to share of lead

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Estiaan Conradie and Philip Geerts from Italy share the second lead in the seventh Race to Q-School event, but with 10 players within three shots, the pair could feel the pressure from the chasing pack in Wednesday’s final round at Randpark Golf Club.

In-form Race to Q-School Order of Merit leader Conradie conjured up two eagles to shoot to the top of the pile on eight under 136 with a superb five-under-par 67, but Geerts produced a brilliant back nine that included a string of four birdies for a 68 to grab a share of pole position.

Overnight leader Matt Bright and amateur Ruan Groenewald also shared the lead, but both golfers bogeyed the final hole to slip to a tie for third. Bright – hunting a hat-trick of titles this season – signed for 71, while Groenewald fired seven birdies to tie Conradie for the low round of the day.

Successive rounds of 69 moved Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigner Nobuhle Dlamini and current IGT Challenge Tour Money Leader Ruan Conradie within striking distance at six under. The pair share fifth with rookie Zabastian de Jager, who returned a 70.

Former Sunshine Tour winner Teboho Sefatsa from the Gary Player Class of 2017, Juan Langeveld and Southern Cape rookie Jack Duthie are also in the mix. Sefatsa and Langeveld posted rounds of 68 and Duthie carded a 69 to finish a further shot back at five under.

Conradie was undoubtedly one of the favourites coming into the week.

The 20-year-old padded his tally on the country’s premier golf development circuit when he won the Randpark Challenge at the Firethorn Course in May and combined with older brother Ruan to claim the Zwartkop Betterball Challenge in September.

He backed up victory in the Race to Q-School Series opener at the Els Club Copperleaf with a fourth, a sixth and two runner-up finishes in the last five events.

Conradie started the day three shots behind Bright, but launched his charge with an eagle at the par-five third. ‘My tee shot veered a little left, but ran through the bunker,’ said the Wanna Be A Champion golfer. ‘I hit a huge eight-iron out of the rough to four feet and holed the putt.

‘The wind was quite strong and I went with the wrong club at the fourth. I hit driver and ended up in the bush. The fifth is usually a drivable par four, but not in today’s wind. I hit my second to seven feet, though, and boxed the putt for birdie.’

A birdie at 11 and eagle at the par-five 17th got him to eight under.

‘I hit my driver slightly left and finished just off the fairway,’ he said. ‘I hit four-iron to eight feet behind the flag and holed the putt. With the tees back and the pins tucked, the wind really made for challenging conditions. I’m in a good position, though, so hopefully I can pull it through tomorrow.’

Geerts made a birdie start, but gave the shot back at the par-four fourth.

Level at the turn, the Italian who plays out of Country Club Johannesburg racked up four birdies in a row from 10 and cancelled a bogey at 16 with a birdie finish.

Picture of Conrad courtesy of CJ du Plooy

Second Round Scores
All competitors SA unless otherwise specified and amateurs are indicated as AMA:
136 – Estiaan Conradie 69 67, Philip Geerts (ITA) 68 68
137 – Ruan Groenewald AMA 70 67, Matt Bright 66 71
138 – Zabastian de Jager 68 70, Ruan Conradie 69 69, Nobuhle Dlamini (SWA) 69 69
139 – Juan Langeveld 71 68, Teboho Sefatsa 71 68, Jack Duthie 70 69
140 – Ruhan van Dijk AMA 72 68, Luke Trocado 69 71, Thabi Ngcobo 71 69
141 – Marco de Beer 71 70, Albert Venter 71 70, Adam Botha AMA 72 69, Bryce McCabe 71 70
142 – Teagan Moore 72 70, Jason Roets 69 73, John McClean (NIR) 71 71, Ivanna Samu 70 72
143 – Clinton Grobler 72 71, Wayne Stroebel 69 74, Richard Joubert 73 70, Azelia Meichtry AMA 71 72, Eric Nel AMA 72 71
144 – Tudor Bismark (ZIM) 73 71, Jade Buitendag 69 75, Leon Visser AMA 74 70, Basil Wright 76 68
145 – Bryce Myburgh 76 69, Francesca Cuturi 74 71, Juran Dreyer AMA 74 71, Johan van der Wath 73 72
146 – Wayne du Toit 75 71, Jason Gilliver AMA 72 74, Brendan Britten (NAM) 72 74, Werner van Wyk 78 68, Matthew Kiewitz AMA 75 71, Malachi Schulz AMA 73 73
147 – Liam Clinton AMA 75 72, Roberto Lupini 78 69, Romano Saincic 75 72, Allan Jirek AMA (CZ) 68 79, Quintin Crause 75 72, Ruan Korb 70 77, Armand van Dyk AMA 73 74
148 – Gary Jutzen AMA 75 73, Maritz Wessels 75 73, Patrick Thompson 73 75, Duane Keun 76 72, Scott Chambers AMA 73 75

Missed the cut:-
149 – Jonathan Waschefort 75 74, Michael Pfeifer AMA 78 71
150 – Mpho Mafishe 75 75, Luke Kelly 80 70, Louis Botha 71 79
151 – Sean Coomer AMA 75 76, Pieter Moolman 78 73
152 – Tertius van den Berg 77 75, Divan Marais 73 79
153 – Jancarel Rossouw AMA 76 77, Marcus Smal AMA 75 78
154 – Stephen Forsyth AMA 75 79
155 – Gareth Anderson AMA 77 78, Eric Park (KOR) 81 74
156 – Stephane van Neer AMA (COD) 77 79, Albert Visser 80 76
157 – Ricardo Towell 75 82, Divan de Villiers AMA 78 79
159 – Michael Dreyer 82 77
162 – Christopher Constantinou AMA 82 80, Christopher de Beer AMA 82 80
163 – Mohammed Ismail AMA 79 84
164 – Songezo Sonamzi 87 77
165 – Deon Bredenkamp 86 79
N/R – Hanro Booysen 81 N/R


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