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8th August 2018 | Big Easy Tour

Van Lieshout takes two-shot lead at Bushwillow

Roodepoort golfer Tyran van Lieshout put on a wonderful short game display to take pole position in the second round of the Big Easy IGT #7 at Randpark Golf Club on Tuesday.

The 2018 Gauteng North Mid-Amateur Open champion overcame trouble off the tees with hot irons and a sizzling putter, and fired two eagles and five birdies for a six-under-par 66.

He finished on nine-under with a two shot lead over Pretoria pair Paul Boshoff and Hendrikus Stoop and Teddy Mathebula from Nelspruit.

“It’s a mulligan, but I’ll take it,” laughed Van Lieshout. “Seriously, that was quite unexpected, but it feels pretty good to shoot two rounds in the sixties.

“It’s always special to play at Randpark, because I became a member here at 17 and only recently moved to Ruimsig. The last time I played the Bushwillow course was during the Pro Shop Northern Amateur in March. A month later, I began my PGA Teaching Diploma under John Dickson at The Els Club Copperleaf and I had to give up my amateur status to join the PGA of SA.

“I am highly competitive and loved playing the Open Amateur and Mid-Amateur circuits. It’s so great to have the Big Easy IGT and IGT Challenge Tours to keep competitive. But to be leading after two rounds is Christmas come early.”

Van Lieshout began the second round two off the pace, but took care of the deficit with an eagle at 12.

“That was a great way to start the day,” said the 33-year-old. “I got a pretty good tee shot away, hit 6-iron to 15 feet and boxed the eagle putt. I kept the round going nicely with some pars and made another birdie after a good drive down 18.

“I hit a great tee shot at the first and had 165 metres flag, so I hit 9-iron pin-high left and knocked in another 15-footer for eagle.”

Van Lieshout made a great bogey at the second after a terrible tee shot that disappeared into the trees and rallied with a brace of birdies at three and four to go six under, but gave two shots back with a double bogey at the par four fifth.

“Another dreadful tee shot with the wrong club,” he said. “The ball disappeared and I had to reload. When that happens, you have to make your peace very quickly and find a way to limit the damage. I was happy to walk away with a double. Anyway, I got the shots back with a chip-in birdie at 17 and a birdie finish at the final hole.

“It’s going to be really nice to tee it up in the last group in the final round. I live for that pressure. Now that I’m playing less, I’m going to savour every moment.”
The leader will keep the trio tied for second firmly in his sights.

Boshoff racked up eight birdies for a 67, former IGT Challenge Tour winner Stoop also eagled the first on his way to 69 and 45-year-old Mathebula signed for 68 that included eagles at the first and third holes.

First round leaders Andrew Carlsson, Matthew Rushton and amateur Keelan van Wyk will have their work cut out to make up for lost ground.

Carlsson and Ernie Els Fancourt Foundation member Van Wyk are five shots adrift after carding rounds of 73, while Rushton finished eight shots off the pace after a second round 76.