Haig leads by one at wild and wet Kyalami | TeamSA - TeamSA
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Haig leads by one at wild and wet Kyalami

Haig

It was a cold, wet and windy Tuesday at Kyalami Country Club, but Anton Haig was in the driving seat amidst the driving rain as he pushed to the front in the ninth Race to Q-School event on the IGT Challenge Tour.

Returning to the scene of his breakthrough victory in 2016, the four-time international champion began the day six off the pace. Haig turned one under, but racked up a trio of birdies from the 13th hole and birdied the closing hole for a three-under-par 69.

Having posted the lowest round of the day, Haig opened up a one stroke lead on three-under 141.

Philip Geerts from Italy shot 71 to tie for second with amateur pair Leon Visser and Peetie van der Merwe from Mpumalanga, who joined the party at two under with rounds of 76 and 75. Roberto Lupini and Tristen Strydom – both multiple winners – and Jacques de Villiers are a further shot back. Lupini carded 75, Strydom registered 73 and De Villiers returned a 74.

‘It’s bunched at the top, so the fight is far from over, but it’s nice to be leading again,’ said Haig. ‘The weather turned really nasty this morning and we played in some proper rain. The wind blew quite strong, so conditions were tough. I didn’t strike the ball particularly well and the game definitely wasn’t great, but I birdied all four par fives and that got me the lead.

‘When I missed, it was in a right spots. Like they say, if you pray hard enough, you get some lucky breaks. I putted well, though, my short-game was on. I had a two-putt birdie at 13 and I hit a gap-wedge to 15 feet at the short hole and made the putt. At 15, I hit a four-iron just short of the bunker and pitched a gap-wedge two feet from the pin.

Haig won three times last year on the country’s premier golf development circuit, but spent nearly eight months on the bench after surgery to his hip and knee late in 2017. The 29-year-old Dainfern golfer bounced back spectacularly with a fourth victory in the Killarney Challenge in April.

‘You don’t come back and expect to shoot the lights out,’ he said. ‘You have to be prepared to take things at a snail’s pace. I was very happy last year to get my feet wet on the IGT Challenge Tour and to get myself back to a competitive level.

‘This year I mixed it up with some Big Easy Tour events and invites on the Sunshine Tour, just to take it up a notch. I also went to the European Tour Qualifying School in Spain, but played poorly. I’m happy with the progress I’m making. The right hip flares up now and then, but I’m working hard to strengthen it. I’m not hitting it quite naturally yet, but it improves all the time.’

Picture of Haig courtesy of CJ du Plooy
 
Second Round Scores
All competitors SA unless otherwise specified and amateurs are indicated as AMA:
141 – Anton Haig 72 69
142 – Peetie van der Merwe AMA 67 75, Leon Visser AMA 66 76, Philip Geerts (ITA) 71 71
143 – Roberto Lupini 68 75, Tristen Strydom 70 73, Jacques de Villiers 69 74
144 – Maritz Wessels 69 75, Cameron Moralee AMA 68 76, David McIntyre AMA 70 74, Ru-Juan Lessingh AMA 67 77
145 – Estiaan Conradie 69 76, Eric Nel AMA 73 72, Juran Dreyer AMA 74 71, Ruhan van Dijk AMA 71 74
146 – Justin Turner 73 73, Ruan Korb 71 75, Keelan van Wyk AMA 71 75, Pieter Moolman 69 77
147 – Louis Albertse AMA 68 79, Tertius van den Berg 75 72
148 – Jason Roets 70 78, Garth Wolter 73 75, Wayne Stroebel 75 73, Duane Keun 72 76, Conway Kunneke 70 78, Bryce Myburgh 74 74, Louis Botha 73 75
149 – Theunis Bezuidenhout AMA 72 77, Arno Pretorius AMA 71 78
150 – Luke Brown AMA 69 81
151 – Hayden Griffiths AMA 71 80, Jade Buitendag 73 78, Michael Schutz 74 77, Tom Watson AMA 75 76, Paulo Serrao AMA (POR) 72 79, Marthin Scheepers 71 80
152 – Zabastian de Jager 73 79, Andrew Carlsson AMA 74 78, Eric Park (KOR) 76 76, Paul Boshoff 72 80, Tristan Maharaj AMA 76 76, Matthew Vogel 71 81
153 – Armand van Dyk AMA 80 73, Dylan Docherty 76 77, Jack Rex Duthie 75 78, Nicklas van Wyk AMA 75 78
154 – Basil Wright 72 82, Matthew Rossouw AMA 77 77, Shaun Bernstein AMA 75 79

Missed the cut:
155 – Michael Dreyer 79 76, Adam Botha AMA 74 81, Scott Chambers AMA 74 81, Ruan Groenewald AMA 79 76
156 – Deon Bredenkamp 76 80, Richard Joubert 77 79, WM Coetzee AMA 77 79, Wayne du Toit 73 83, Marais Visagie 81 75
157 – Etienne Janse van Rensburg AMA 76 81
158 – John McClean (NIR) 79 79, Ruan Conradie 69 89, Dino di Carlo AMA 73 85
159 – Patric Dowling AMA 78 81, Mohammed Ismail AMA 77 82
160 – Rigardt Albertse AMA 74 86
161 – Stephen Forsyth AMA 75 86, Adam Breen AMA 79 82
162 – Stephane van Neer AMA (COD) 81 81, Brendan Britten (NAM) 82 80, Songezo Sonamzi 76 86
163 – Liam Clinton AMA 78 85, Hein Dreyer AMA 80 83, Jay Fourie 77 86
164 – Aneel Kallan AMA 78 86
167 – Albert Visser 82 85
169 – Gary Jutzen AMA 81 88
172 – Christopher Constantinou AMA 77 95, Malachi Schulz AMA 84 88, Christopher Scheppel AMA 85 87
174 – Alwyn Smith AMA 84 90
176 – Joshua Leo AMA 88 88
WDN – Shaun van Tonder 76 WDN, Matthew Kiewitz AMA 83 WDN
N/R – Dean du Plessis AMA 76 N/R, Sam Metcalfe AMA 84 N/R, Thabang Tlou 82 N/R, Dean Berkowitz AMA 76 N/R


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