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18th April 2018 | Big Easy Tour

Mostert motors to Big Easy IGT Tour lead

Edenvale rookie Dylan Mostert set a testing clubhouse target for the chasing pack after following up an opening 69 with a five-under-par 67 on day two of the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour #1 at Silver Lakes Country Club.

His round was bracketed by a bogey start and bogeys at the last two holes, but the 19-year-old had done enough in between to set the 36-hole target at eight-under 136 on Tuesday.

Mostert racked up seven birdies and eagled the par five seventh to open up a three shot lead on fellow rookie Ruan Korb and three-time Sunshine Tour winner Michiel Bothma.

“I hit a tree off the tee and the ball headed out of bounds,” said Mostert. “I was four down after the first round, so it wasn’t exactly the ideal start. I got one shot back at the second and birdied four to get back to even par. I made two more birdies at six and eighth and hit driver, gap-wedge to 30 feet at eight and holed the eagle putt. It was a big relief to get back into red numbers before the turn.”

Further gains at 11, 14 and 15 saw the State Mines golfer dip seven shots below par, but he spoiled the profitable run with the bogey-bogey finish.

“I hit a good drive on 17, but had too much club for the second and put it in the bunker,” he said. “I couldn’t up-and-down to save par, and I was probably still a little annoyed with myself standing on the 18th tee, because I hit my tee shot straight into the hazard. Made some good shots to give myself a chance, but the par-putt lipped out.

“I had an early start, so I just hoped that I did enough to be in contention, but the course played tough and no-one shot the lights out in the afternoon field.”

Mostert represented South Africa in the Junior Golf World Cup in 2016 and was still an amateur when he won his first IGT Challenge Tour title partnering best friend and practice partner Kyle Barker in the IGT Betterball at Wanderers last year.

In July, he left for the United States to take up a scholarship at Dalton State University.

“Some golfers are cut out for college and some not,” he said. “I definitely fall in the last group. It wasn’t what I expected and I felt pretty bad to let the coach and the team down, but my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t have time to focus on golf and that’s what I was hoping for.

“My coach Neil Cheetham and I made some big strides in the last two years of my amateur career and I felt it was all going to waste. So I packed it in after six months.”

Mostert gave Q-School a bash in March, but missed out at Final Stage.

“I was disappointed, but it was a blessing, because I really wasn’t ready for the Sunshine Tour,” he said. “I need more competitive experience, so I decided to compete on the IGT Challenge Tour this season. Now, with the new Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour, I could play myself on to the Sunshine Tour in 15 events. That, plus Kyle winning two more times, is all the motivation I need.”

Korb first five birdies on the front nine and offset a lone bogey at 14 with a brace of birdies for a 66, while Bothma mixed a bogey on each nine with four birdies for a round of 70.

Clinton Grobbler and Cameron Moralee finished a further stroke adrift on four-under after carding respective rounds of 68 and 72.

Barker, who led the first round with a blistering 65, turned four-over after double bogeys at six and eighth. Unable to erase the damage on the back nine, the Randpark golfer closed with a 76 and he will start the final round on three-under alongside two-time champion Tristen Strydom, Conway Kunneke, rookies Dylan Kok and Ruan Groenewald and Hendrikus Stoop, who won the IGT Challenge Tour #2 at Germiston Golf Club last week.