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Moore on the move as he leads Centurion Challenge
- Updated: April 12, 2016
Teagan Moore upstaged the professionals on day one of the Centurion Challenge and the Pretoria amateur hopes the solid start will provide the thrust for a maiden IGT Tour victory at Centurion Country Club this week.
Moore fired a six-under-par 66 to open up a one-shot lead and the 22-year-old was not surprised to see a bunch of fellow amateurs chasing his tail.
Wingate Park’s Ruan Conradie – already a winner this season – and fellow amateurs Etienne Janse van Rensburg and Marco de Beer tied for second on 67 with pros NJ Arnoldi and Louis Taylor, while Estiaan Conradie, who won the season-opening Wingate Park Open, finished a further stroke off the pace alongside yet another amateur, Hilton Hughes.
‘No, it doesn’t surprise me at all to see so many amateurs contending these days,’ Moore said.
‘I think when the Wingate brothers Estiaan and Ruan both won early in this season, they motivated a lot of us to start stepping it up. The thing is, it’s one thing to know we can play as well as they do, but it’s another to start believing you can beat the pros.
‘Competing against them is intimidating at first, but that’s the beauty of competing on the IGT Tour. It slowly builds your confidence to the point where you see the pros as just guys you’re playing against and trying to beat.’
Moore opened his campaign with an eagle at the par five first, gave a shot back at the second, but steadied the ship with back-to-back birdies at four and five.
‘I hoped a trap-shot for a great start, but I hit a poor putt and missed a 10-footer for par at the second,’ he said. ‘It was great to make birdies at four and five to get the momentum going again.
‘I holed another birdie putt at eight to go four under, but unfortunately I hit it in the water at nine and I had to drop in the bunker. I didn’t have a great lie, but I managed to get it out of the sand and I still had 36 metres to the pin. I hit it to 13 feet and made the putt for a pretty decent bogey.’
Moore birdied both par fives (12 and 15) on the back nine and picked up a final birdie at the par three 17th for pole position.
‘The back nine actually played shorter with a lot of tees set forward, but the wind was pumping quite strong,’ he said. ‘If you don’t hit it on the right side and you leave yourself a downhill putt, it gets very tricky. I was happy with the back nine, because I made three birdies, two great sand-saves and I didn’t drop a shot. That’s a good round in my book.’
The former Ekurhuleni Golf Union standout doesn’t have any immediate plans to turn professional, but he enjoys honing his game on the country’s premier development Tour.
‘I am actually contemplating the United States college circuit,’ Moore said. ‘I wanted to go when I finished school, but I developed some back problems because I grew too fast. That’s been sorted out, but I feel I needed to challenge myself more and that’s why I began playing the IGT Tour.
‘The circuit is very competitive and it forces you to step up your game, work harder, practice harder. I’m loving it out here and I’d love it even more if I can take it all the way to the finish line this week.’
FIRST ROUND SCORES
(All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified; amateurs indicated as AMA)
66 – Teagan Moore (AMA)
67 – NJ Arnoldi, Ruan Conradie (AMA), Louis Taylor, Etienne J V Rensburg (AMA), Marco de Beer (AMA)
68 – Estiaan Conradie (AMA), Hilton Hughes (AMA)
69 – John McClean (NIR)
70 – Damian Naicker, Ruan Korb (AMA)
71 – Michael Schutz (AMA), TJ Bekker, Hendrikus Stoop (AMA)
72 – Bryce Myburgh, Christo Hattingh, Coert Groenewald, Ludovic Bax de Keating MUS, Eric Nel (AMA), Anton Haig, Divan Marais, Brendan Britten (NAM), Igor Milicic SRB
73 – Fanie Wolmarans (AMA), Jonathan Waschefort, David Ashley ENG, Gerard Du Plooy
74 – Tom Watson (AMA), Quintin Crause (AMA), Dylan Kok (AMA), Matthew Spacey, Carrie Park
75 – Wayne du Toit, Jason Ackerman (AMA), Christopher van der Merwe (AMA)
76 – Burger Heckroodt, Estiaan de Jager (AMA), Mike Maile, Sam Metcalfe (AMA), Terence Mogapi
77 – Gary Daoust (AMA) BEL, Dylan de Beer, Nicklas van Wyk (AMA), Jaco van der Merwe (AMA)
78 – Amerigo Renieri (AMA), Shaun van Tonder, Ruhan Van Dijk (AMA), Jabu Radebe
79 – Tommie Brits (AMA), Stephan Erasmus (AMA), Pedro August
80 – Duan Nagel (AMA), Jabulane Mabilane
81 – Tristan Nel (AMA), Liam Bezuidenhout (AMA), Dwayne Coetzee, Jacques De Villiers (AMA)
82 – Michael Petersen, Morne V D Waltsleben (AMA)
83 – Christopher De Beer (AMA), Leon Visser (AMA), Jordan Parsons (AMA)
84 – Daniel Joubert (AMA), Etzard Grimbeek (AMA), Mae Cornforth
85 – Charles Grobler (AMA)
88 – Wesley Maddocks (AMA), Reinard Schuhknect (AMA)
90 – Roelof Van Tonder (AMA)
92 – WM Coetzee (AMA)