Ashley into the lead as first round leader Conradie fades at Centurion | SASCOC - SASCOC
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Ashley into the lead as first round leader Conradie fades at Centurion

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Englishman David Ashley made a late charge to the top of the leaderboard in round two of the IGT Tour’s Centurion Classic with a magnificent rally over the back nine of Centurion Country Club on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old reached the turn in two under, and reeled in a trio of birdies at 10, 11 and 12 to dip five under. After catching his breath with a par at 13, Ashley collected another hat-trick of birdies at 14, 15 and 16 to move to 11-under-par 133.
Ashley will start the final round three strokes clear of Northern Ireland’s John McClean, who carded a 70, and Sheldon Steyn from Zimbabwe, who fired an equally impressive 65.
First round pacesetter Ruan Conradie returned a 71 to finish four off the pace in a tie for fourth with fellow amateurs Marco de Beer (69) and Quintin Crause (70).
It was almost exactly a year ago that the Devon golfer broke through for a maiden IGT Tour victory in the ERPM Classic, which sparked a great run for the Devon golfer.
However, one bad round at the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School shattered his dreams. ‘I was in the top 30 heading into the final round, but I shot a 78 that terminated my run,’ Ashley recalls.
‘Although I did earn a Big Easy Tour card, it felt like the end of the line. Nine months before I won the ERPM Classic I had actually called it a day, but that victory sparked something. I had a really good season with a couple of runner-up finishes and top fives and overall, I had a very consistent season on the IGT Tour.
‘I was so positive ahead of Qualifying School and I played well, but I ruined my chances with that final round. I was really fortunate that my parents took pity on me and offered to support me for one more season. But this is the last chance saloon. If I don’t make it this time, I’ll have to find a real job.’
Ashley is known for his technical approach to the game, but it was a very relaxed version who walked into the clubhouse at the end of play.
‘Some guys couldn’t tell you how to hit a hook to save their lives; others know what loft and lie are, but that’s about it,’ he said. ‘I am all about the technical side of the game, though, but the problem is that I get really hung up on the technical stuff and then I get in my own way.
‘Today I decided to focus just on getting the set-up right and to let the rest happen and it was quite incredible. I was just aiming it and hitting it, and the putts dropped. This was without a doubt one of my best rounds in months and there is a lesson in that. I trusted my swing and committed to the shots. So, I guess it’s time to stop over-analysing everything and go out and win again.’

Photo of Ashley courtesy of  CJ du Plooy

SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified and amateurs are indicated as (AMA)
133 – David Ashley ENG 69 64
136 – John McClean NIR 66 70, Sheldon Steyn (ZIM) 71 65
137 – Marco de Beer (AMA) 68 69, Quintin Crause (AMA) 67 70, Ruan Conradie (AMA) 66 71
138 – Thabang Simon 68 70, Damian Naicker 68 70, Estiaan Conradie (AMA) 73 65, Stephan Erasmus (AMA) 70 68, Conway Kunneke 67 71, Louis Taylor 69 69, Eric Nel (AMA) 67 71
139 – Bryce Myburgh 68 71, Jonathan Waschefort 72 67, Eddie Taylor 70 69, Anton Haig 72 67, Coert Groenewald 66 73
140 – Alastair Waddell ENG 71 69, Juan Langeveld 68 72
141 – Gary Daoust (AMA) BEL 70 71, Michael Schutz (AMA) 70 71, Roberto Lupini 72 69, CJ Levey 72 69
142 – TJ Bekker 68 74, Matthew Spacey 71 7
143 – Calvin Caldeira 70 73
144 – Romano Saincic 73 71, Teagan Moore 68 76, Andi Dill 71 73, Leon Vorster (AMA) 73 71
145 – Bryce McCabe 73 72, Pieter Muller (AMA) 74 71, Richard Joubert (AMA) 72 73
146 – Lourens Du Plessis 72 74, Ruan Potgieter (AMA) 70 76, Dwayne Coetzee 74 72, Ruan Korb (AMA) 71 75, David Rebelo (AMA) 69 77
148 – Marthin Scheepers (AMA) 74 74, Matthew Adams (AMA) 72 76, Marais Visagie 72 76
149 – Terence Mogapi 73 76, Jacques De Villiers (AMA) 75 74
150 – Heinrich Stoop (AMA) 73 77, Duane Keun 75 75
151 – Wim Grobler 77 74, Jaco Van Der Merwe (AMA) 75 76, Leon Visser (AMA) 73 78, Brendan Britten NAM 70 81

Missed the cut:
152 – Gregg Blainey ENG 75 77
153 – Tristan Nel (AMA) 78 75, Kevin Eden (AMA) 77 76, Reynhard Reynecke (AMA) 79 74, Liam Bezuidenhout (AMA) 76 77, Byron Garvie 76 77
154 – Igor Milicic SRB 78 76, Jordan Parsons (AMA) 79 75, Armand Azar (AMA) 83 71
155 – Thabi Ngcobo (AMA) 78 77
156 – Hanko Bothma (AMA) 77 79
157 – Charles Grobler (AMA) 79 78, Albert Visser (AMA) 81 76, Marc de Jager (AMA) 78 79
159 – Duan Nagel (AMA) 75 84, Michael van Rooyen 80 79
160 – Richard Tsai (AMA) 77 83, WM Coetzee (AMA) 84 76, Nicklas Van Wyk (AMA) 82 78, Mark Lennox 78 82
164 – Sam Metcalfe (AMA) 82 82, Cameron Gunning 86 78
168 – Roelof Van Tonder (AMA) 86 82
179 – Andre Ferreira (AMA) 90 89
78 – Dylan de Beer 78 WDN
DSQ – Estiaan De Jager (AMA) 78 DSQ


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