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Lawrence

Eight birdies see Lawrence leading in Brakpan

For a second day running, the leaderboard in the eighth event of the IGT Challenge Tour Race to Q-School Series was awash in red numbers.

Near perfect conditions at State Mines Country Club in Brakpan on Tuesday made for a feast of birdies and the man leading the charge was Thriston Lawrence from Mpumalanga.

The former two-time Sanlam SA Amateur champion golfer fired eight birdies and boxed an eagle putt at the par-five seventh to stand at 11-under-par 133 after adding an impressive nine-under 63 to an opening round of 70.

Lawrence enjoyed a breakthrough victory on the Mena Golf Tour in the United Arab Emirates in 2016 and the 20-year-old Nelspruit golfer added a maiden IGT Challenge Tour title to his winning tally in the final event of the 2017 Race to Q-School in February.

The stage is set for an exciting final round, though, with seasoned veteran John McClean from Ireland and Tristen Strydom hot on his heels and five more within four shots of the lead.

McClean has only dropped one shot in 36-holes after signing for a flawless 68.

Strydom – a three-time IGT Challenge Tour champion – erased bogeys at three and six with birdies at four and seven to turn level, but the Pretoria golfer racked up four birdies and eagled the par-five 15th to soar to a tie for second with a 66.

‘I’m looking forward to going head-to-head with Thriston again,’ said Strydom, who spent the last four months playing the development circuit in the United States.

‘We represented South Africa a few times, but we were also rivals as amateurs, so it should be great fun to play together again and John is always great company. It could go down to the wire. I think the leaderboard will be quite tight over the front nine and things should get very interesting down the back stretch.’

Meanwhile overnight leader Louis Albertse followed an opening 66 with a 70. The KwaZulu-Natal amateur finished at eight-under 136 in a tie for fourth with local amateur JP Rousseau.

A definite crowd favourite, Rousseau shared the lead with Lawrence through 15 holes after an eagle at the par-four fourth and six birdies, but lost his footing and registered a round of 67 after a bogey at 16 and a double-bogey finish.

Another player who went around the track in Brakpan in flawless style was Roberto Lupini.

A 66 could signal a third visit to the winner’s circle this season for the former Sunshine Tour player, who trails Lawrence by four shots. Lupini shares sixth with two more threatening prospects, Ruan Korb and Rhys West, who posted respective rounds of 68 and 67.

Picture of Lawrence courtesy of CJ du Plooy

Second Round Scores
All competitors SA unless otherwise specified and amateurs indicated as AMA
133 – Thriston Lawrence 70 63
134 – Tristen Strydom 68 66, John McClean (NIR) 66 68
136 – Louis Albertse AMA 66 70, JP Rousseau AMA 69 67
137 – Rhys West 70 67, Ruan Korb 69 68, Roberto Lupini 71 66
138 – Dean O’Riley 67 71, Duane Keun 71 67
139 – Neil O’Briain (IRE) 71 68, Bennie van der Merwe 71 68, Luke Brown AMA 70 69
140 – Chris Cannon (ENG) 71 69, Basil Wright 69 71, Leon Visser AMA 70 70, Matthew Vogel 71 69, Jason Roets 72 68
141 – Teboho Sefatsa 71 70, Patrick Thompson 70 71, Allister de Kock 69 72
142 – Thabi Ngcobo 71 71, Philip Geerts (ITA) 70 72, Adam Botha AMA 73 69
143 – Matthew Rossouw AMA 71 72, Bryce McCabe 70 73, Eric Nel AMA 69 74, Sipho Bujela 73 70, Mpho Mafishe 71 72
144 – Vaughn van Deventer AMA 73 71, Nobuhle Dlamini (SWA) 74 70, Tertius van den Berg 72 72, Kyle Lucas 70 74, Bryce Myburgh 75 69, Keanu Pestana AMA 73 71, Michael Kok AMA 72 72
145 – Andrew van der Knaap 71 74, Makhetha Mazibuko 71 74, Jack Duthie 76 69, Juan Langeveld 69 76, Marco de Beer 74 71, Hayden Griffiths AMA 74 71
146 – WM Coetzee AMA 72 74, Pieter Moolman 75 71, Armand van Dyk AMA 74 72, Ruhan van Dijk AMA 75 71, Tudor Bismark (ZIM) 74 72, Wayne Stroebel 74 72, Conway Kunneke 74 72, David Rebelo AMA 72 74
147 – Dylan Docherty 73 74, Dayne Moore (ZAM) 73 74, Bradley Diggeden AMA 72 75, Matthew Hands AMA 73 74
148 – David Mofokeng (LSO) 79 69, Casey Jarvis AMA 74 74, Ivanna Samu 73 75, Gerard du Plooy 73 75, Brandon Lydon AMA 76 72
149 – Justin Turner 72 77, Michael Schutz 71 78, Mohit Mediratta (KEN) 71 78, Malachi Schulz AMA 75 74, Chase Paton AMA 74 75, Andi Dill 75 74

Missed the cut:
150 – LJ Lowies AMA 76 74, Shaun van Tonder 77 73, Werner van Wyk 77 73, Brendan Britten (NAM) 75 75, Haydn Driver AMA 74 76, Michael Pfeifer AMA 75 75, Heinrich Penzhorn AMA 75 75
151 – Jadrick Fourie AMA 75 76, Terence Mogapi 78 73, Dino di Carlo AMA 75 76
152 – Tom Watson AMA 74 78, Nqobani Ndabambi 80 72, Cameron Gurr AMA 72 80
153 – Luke Kelly 77 76
154 – Allan Jirek AMA (CZ) 74 80, Gary Jutzen AMA 77 77
156 – Adrian Brabson AMA 79 77, Shaun Bernstein AMA 80 76
157 – Tiaan Greyvenstein AMA (AUS) 80 77, Phumlani Maluka AMA 83 74
160 – Patric Dowling AMA 78 82
162 – Gareth Anderson AMA 77 85, Christopher Constantinou AMA 82 80
163 – Alwyn Smith AMA 88 75
166 – Valentin Graus (NLD) 83 83
168 – Songezo Sonamzi 82 86
172 – Jesse Jacobs AMA 84 88
WDN – Marcel Capaul (ARG) 87 WDN