Pretoria’s Prinsloo pockets first prize in final Race to Q-School series

Pretoria’s Prinsloo pockets first prize in final Race to Q-School series

Pretoria’s Prinsloo pockets first prize in final Race to Q-School series

PRETORIA’s Jaco Prinsloo will cram R10 000 into his Christmas stocking after he captured a two-stroke victory in the final Race to Q-School series event of the season on Wednesday.

Just four weeks since the Sunshine Tour player claimed his fifth IGT Tour title in the Race to Q-School #6 at Irene, Prinsloo shot a 71 in the final round of the 11th event at Wingate Park Country Club. He finished at 11 under 205, two shots clear of Pretoria rookie Tristen Strydom and three ahead of England’s Gregg Blainey and Italian amateur Philip Geerts, who all closed with rounds of 70.

Prinsloo slept on a two-shot lead over Johary Raveloarison from Madagascar, while Strydom was four off the pace. The 27-year-old from Centurion got off to the ideal start with a par-birdie combination and extended his lead with another birdie at the fifth.

Strydom and Raveloarison also gained shots at the second, but while Raveloarison fired seven straight birdies to the turn, Strydom dropped at the fifth. Prinsloo opened the door with back-to-back bogeys at six and seven and Strydom, after a bogey at seven, responded with a pair of birdies to reduce the gap to three strokes.

“It was a bizarre day for all of us,” Prinsloo stated.

“Joe (Raveloarison) was on fire in the first round and Tristen and I went 15-under between us in the second round, but none of us got going in the final round, but no-one behind us caught fire.

“The course set up was definitely tougher than the first two days and you could see it in the scores. It was as if everyone battled and, compared to the first two days, the birdies were few and far between.

“Most of the tees were set right at the back and we played to a lot of tucked pins. There was quite a lot of wind, which made matters out there extra tricky. Joe struck the ball well on the front nine but he battled down the back, while it felt like Tristen and I spent the whole day punching out of the rough and making up-and-downs to save par.”

After the turn, Prinsloo dropped at 11 and Strydom bogeyed 12, but the rookie banked another brace of birdies at 12 and 13 to cut the gap to one shot.

The finish holes at Wingate Park caught a number of people out over all three rounds, but Prinsloo handled them with aplomb. Pars at 15, 16 and 17, followed by a birdie at the ultimate hole put the finishing touches on a fine victory in the last IGT Tour event of the season.

“It’s always great to come back to the IGT Tour and to walk away with a win feels great,” the GFG Academy player said.

“It’s funny, but when I just started my pro career on the IGT Tour, I use to resent the Sunshine Tour players who came to steal our money. After my first couple of months, I realised that if I wanted to stop them, I had to step it up and I did. Hopefully, I’ve handed that lesson down to the next generation.

“Tristen, Joe and some of the other IGT Tour boys are off to Bangkok in the New Year for the Asian Tour’s First Stage Q-School. Both of them it beautifully all week and I want to wish them and all the other boys the best of luck. You’ve all put in the hard work, so just make your swings work for you.”

The IGT Tour resumes on 16 January with the 12th tournament in the 18-event Race to Q-School Series at the Bushwillow Course at Randpark Golf Club.

Final Result:
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified and amateurs indicated as AMA.
205 – Jaco Prinsloo 68 66 71
207 – Tristen Strydom 74 63 70
208 – Gregg Blainey (ENG) 69 69 70, Philip Geerts AMA (ITA) 68 70 70
210 – Arthur Horne (SWA) 68 71 71, Sipho Bujela 73 66 71
211 – Duane Keun 70 71 70, Ruan Korb AMA 68 70 73, Johary Raveloarison (MDG) 67 69 75
212 – Stephan Erasmus AMA 73 72 67, Conway Kunneke 72 71 69, Carrie Park 75 68 69, Jonathan Waschefort 72 70 70, Andrew Carlsson AMA 72 70 70, NJ Arnoldi 71 70 71
213 – Jacques van Tonder AMA 71 72 70, Teagan Moore 73 66 74
214 – Richard O’Donovan (IRE) 72 73 69, Peetie van der Merwe AMA 74 71 69, Coert Groenewald 71 71 72, Thabang Simon 69 70 75
215 – Johan van der Wath 70 75 70, Werner van Wyk 70 72 73, Estiaan Conradie AMA 71 69 75
216 – Andi Dill 72 72 72, Musiwalo Nethunzwi 74 71 71, Damian Naicker 70 72 74, Dean O’Riley 73 68 75, Matthew Spacey 74 67 75
217 – Sean Bradley 75 70 72, Makhetha Mazibuko 72 73 72, Paul de Beer 69 74 74, Stephan de Beer 69 74 74, Divan Marais 77 70 70
218 – Shaun van Tonder 71 76 71, Tom Watson AMA 71 71 76
219 – Andrew van der Knaap AMA 74 71 74, Kyle Barker 74 73 72, MJ Viljoen 74 73 72, Etienne Janse van Rensburg AMA 71 77 71
220 – Quintin Crause 72 73 75, Alex van Heerden AMA 73 72 75, CJ Levey 70 73 77, David McIntyre AMA 72 74 74
221 – Gerard du Plooy 71 75 75, Stef Visage 71 77 73, Irvin Mazibuko 78 72 71
222 – Theunis Bezuidenhout AMA 76 71 75, Wayne Stroebel 74 74 74, Jadrick Fourie AMA 75 73 74
223 – Clinton Grobler 71 75 77, Angelo Marques AMA 73 77 73, Christopher van der Merwe AMA 76 75 72, Tyrone Ryan 76 75 72
224 – Ruhan van Dijk AMA 74 70 80, Byron Sampson AMA 73 74 77, Eric Nel AMA 72 76 76, Arno Pretorius AMA 78 71 75, Jacques de Villiers 72 78 74, Shane Irwin AMA (IRE) 76 75 73
226 – Dwayne Coetzee 83 67 76
227 – Ruan Conradie AMA 74 73 80
228 – Fanie Wolmarans AMA 72 74 82, Gareth Akers 77 72 79, Michael Kok AMA 73 76 79, Mae Cornforth 74 76 78, JP Schmidt AMA 76 75 77, NJ van der Walt AMA 77 74 77
231 – Ryan Woolley AMA 75 75 81 – ANA