Teboho Sefatsa made it a four-way tie for the lead in the opening round of the 14th event of Race to Q-School series on the IGT Challenge Tour on Monday.
The former Sunshine Tour winner was back at his ball-striking best as he produced a flawless five-under-par 67 to join rookie Ruan Conradie, Pretoria amateur Stals Swart and Sunshine Tour player Wynand Dingle at the top of the leaderboard at Wingate Park Country Club.
Indeed, the Gary Player School of 2017 member could have taken the outright lead, but his birdie attempt on the 18th green stayed above ground.
He was nevertheless pleased to join the lead in his fourth appearance on the country’s premier golf development circuit this season.
‘It was nice to shoot a good round today and put myself in a position’ said Sefatsa. ‘You want to win every time you play, but this game doesn’t really work like that. I played a lot better than I did at Modderfontein last week and it would be special to keep this going.
‘It was a pity about the par at the last and I only made one birdie on the front nine, so it could have been better. But I think five under is a good position to be in. I would love to get my hands on this trophy, especially with the Q-School Final Stage in March getting closer all the time.’
Conradie led the Race to Q-School Order of Merit, but he lost top spot to brother Estiaan after missing the cut in the last two events in the series. The local lad was thrilled to hit some form after two disappointing weeks.
‘I only dropped one shot at the par-four 12th and that’s is really encouraging,’ said the 21-year-old Wanna Be A Champion Academy player.
‘I just started hitting the right shots at the right time again. I made crucial putts and par-saves where it counted and when I did hit a bad shot, I recovered from it. That’s what adds up to good scores, so I’m moving back in the right direction.’
Dingle eagled the second and birdied the third before he gave a shot back at the par-four sixth, but the Colesberg player rallied with 10, 15 and 17 for his 67, while Stals from Pretoria Country Club racked up eagles at two and 13 and cancelled two bogeys with a trio of birdies.
The leading group only has a slender one-shot lead on a chasing trio which features Ruan Korb, Gary Player School of 2017 player Makhetha Mazibuko and Peetie van der Merwe from the HPC Tuks Golf Academy.
Pieter Moolman, Toto Thimba Jnr, Marco de Beer, Tokkie van den Berg, Zambia’s Dayne Moore, Conway Kunneke and Kyalami amateur Michael Faasen lurk a further shot back.
Picture of Sefatsa courtesy of CJ du Plooy
First Round Scores
All competitors SA unless otherwise specified and amateurs indicated as AMA.
67 – Ruan Conradie, Stals Swart AMA, Wynand Dingle, Teboho Sefatsa
68 – Ruan Korb, Makhetha Mazibuko, Peetie van der Merwe AMA
69 – Pieter Moolman, Marco de Beer, Tokkie van den Berg, Dayne Moore (ZAM), Conway Kunneke, Toto Thimba Jnr, Michael Faasen AMA
70 – Francois Coetzee, Tristen Strydom, Benjamin Follett-Smith (ZIM)
71 – DK Kim (KOR), Teaghan Gauche, Duane Keun, Jonathan Waschefort, Phillip Kruse AMA, Combrinck Smit
72 – Jade Buitendag, Keanu Pestana AMA, Gianni Pera AMA, Basil Wright, Estiaan Conradie, Rourke Van der Spuy, Eric Park (KOR), Michael Palmer, Andrew Carlsson AMA
73 – Herman Loubser, Philip Geerts (ITA), Juan Langeveld, Gerard Du Plooy, Angus Ellis-Cole AMA, Maritz Wessels, Bennie Van Der Merwe, Michael Kok AMA, Jason Roets, Ivan Mare AMA, Gilson Filho (BRA), Armand Van Dyk AMA, Jason Ackerman AMA, Louis Albertse AMA, Gary Daoust (BEL)
74 – Dino Capazario AMA, Zander Gous AMA, Dylan Mostert AMA, Kyle Barker, Marthin Scheepers, Heinrich Bruiners, Juran Dreyer AMA, Matt Bright, Reynhard Reynecke AMA, Roberto Lupini, Divan Marais, Michiel Bothma, Omar Sandys, Hendrikus Stoop AMA, Ruhan Van Dijk AMA, Morne V D Waltsleben AMA, Lance Ellerbeck AMA
75 – Thriston Lawrence, Paul Boshoff, Werner Van Wyk, Leon Visser, Ruan Huysamen (NAM), Martin Kraft AMA, Clinton Grobler, Michael Schutz
76 – NJ Arnoldi, Quintin Wilsnach, Jancarel Rossouw AMA, Eric Nel AMA, Mikhail Tewary, Jaco Prinsloo, Teagan Moore, Zabastian De Jager, John Bele, Deon Bredenkamp, Albert Venter, Shaun Bernstein AMA, Jens Hillerman AMA
77 – Luke Brown AMA, JC Coetzer, Coert Groenewald, Neville Mitchell AMA, Wayne Stroebel
78 – Wayne du Toit, Bryce Myburgh, Tom Watson AMA, Tristan Brice AMA, Igor Milicic (SRB), Aidan Boon AMA
79 – Michael Pfeifer AMA, Duan Nagel AMA
80 – Bradley Diggeden AMA, Handre Truter AMA, Richard Joubert, Arno Pretorius AMA
81 – Mitchell Kock AMA, Allister De Kock, Scott Chambers AMA
82 – Brandon Lydon AMA
83 – Hanro Booysen
84 – Nicholas Souranis AMA
85 – Lance Van Rensburg AMA
86 – Jason Reynolds AMA, Pieter Van Niekerk AMA
90 – CJ Brits AMA
RTD – Andi Dill