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Lombard leads from start to finish at Woodhill

Lombard

Zander Lombard romped to a memorable eighth IGT Challenge Tour victory in a wire-to-wire performance at the Race to Q-School #14 on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Tshwane golfer produced a four-birdie flurry at the end of the final round for a six-under-par 66 at Woodhill Country Club to finish at 19 under 197 – a magnificent five shots clear of  Zambian star Madalitso Muthiya.

‘I played so well today,’ said Lombard. ‘I hit all the right shots and made a lot of good decisions, which was really satisfying. It feels great to win again, especially ahead of the Eye of Africa PGA Championship. One of the most pleasing aspects of this week was getting myself into position and getting the job done. Hopefully I can take this form into next week and enjoy another positive result.’

Lombard opened with an eight under 64 at his home course for a one shot lead over Ockert Strydom.

He carded 67 in the second round and could have been forgiven for looking over his shoulder at a hungry chasing pack when started the final round with a two shot edge over Strydom and fellow Sunshine Tour campaigner Danie van Tonder.

On the final day, he stretched his advantage with an eagle-birdie combination at five and sixth and still had a firm hold on the reigns after a bogey at 12. ‘I had a fantastic day with the driver and the irons, but the putter let me down some,’ Lombard said. ‘I had seven lip-outs from 15 to 20 feet, but then the putts suddenly started to drop and I made four birdies down the straight.

‘I was really impressed with the cut, which fell at two over. It’s amazing to see how the standard on the IGT Challenge Tour has improved since I first started playing the tour as an amateur back in 2012.

‘I remember when the Sunshine Tour pros used to come and play, we would really pick up our games and try to catch them. It’s nice to give back now and I know guys like Danie and Ockie feel the same.

‘We need the game time, but we also put ourselves out there to give the amateurs a target to go for and it’s fantastic to see how they step up. This was just the kind of competitive experience I wanted and I’ll take some nice positive energy into the Eye of Africa next week.’

Muthiya, Van Tonder and Strydom will also take some confidence to the Eye of Africa Signature Course, while 19-year-old rookie Estiaan Conradie heads into the next Race to Q-School event knowing that he held his own against the Sunshine Tour players.

Muthiya fired a flawless 65 to finish third on 14 under, Van Tonder was two shots back after a 70 and Strydom, an 11-time winner on the country’s premier golf development circuit, tied for fourth at 11 under with Conradie, who won three times last season.

Picture of Lombard with his spoils courtesy of CJ du Plooy

Final scores
(All competitors SA unless otherwise specified and amateurs indicated as AMA)
197 – Zander Lombard 64 67 66
202 – Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM) 68 69 65
204 – Danie Van Tonder 68 66 70
205 – Estiaan Conradie 68 68 69, Ockert Strydom 65 69 71
206 – Tyrone Ryan 68 70 68, Pieter Kruger 69 66 71
208 – Dean O’Riley 69 73 66
209 – Matthew Spacey 69 73 67, Teaghan Gauche 71 70 68, MJ Viljoen 70 66 73
210 – Allister De Kock 74 65 71
211 – Conway Kunneke 72 70 69, Teagan Moore 71 72 68, Jacopo Vecchi Fossa (ITA) 72 70 69, Toto Thimba Jnr 69 72 70, NJ Arnoldi 68 72 71, Christopher Van der Merwe AMA 70 70 71, Dylan Kok AMA 67 70 74
212 – JC Ritchie 67 74 71, Jaco Prinsloo 68 72 72, Phillip Kruse AMA 72 67 73, Albert Venter AMA 71 68 73
213 – Francois Coetzee 69 74 70, Stephan De Beer 69 72 72, David Ashley (ENG) 69 72 72
214 – Stefan Labuschagne AMA 70 73 71, Armand Van Dyk AMA 71 72 71, Shalan Govender 69 75 70, Ruhan Van Dijk AMA 70 70 74
215 – Altaaf Bux 71 72 72, Pieter Muller AMA 72 71 72, Bryce Myburgh 75 69 71, Dylan Mostert AMA 70 74 71, Leorin Pillay 74 67 74, Justin Turner 71 70 74, Paul De Beer 72 72 71, Stuart Smith (BOT) 74 71 70
216 – Quintin Crause 73 69 74, Ruan Conradie 70 75 71, Matt Bright 75 70 71
217 – Neil Cheetham (ENG) 67 75 75, Dwayne Coetzee 70 73 74, Eric Nel AMA 76 67 74, Makhetha Mazibuko 72 72 73, Marcus Smal AMA 72 72 73, Shane Irwin AMA (IRE) 75 69 73, Leon Visser AMA 72 73 72, Russel Franz 72 73 72, Kyle Barker 67 72 78, Omar Sandys 74 72 71
218 – Wayne Stroebel 70 72 76, Irvin Mazibuko 74 70 74, Duane Keun 73 68 77, Thabang Simon 70 70 78, Edoardo Torrieri (ITA) 74 72 72, Stephan Erasmus AMA 71 75 72
219 – Michael Kok AMA 70 75 74, Paul Boshoff 74 72 73
220 – Musiwalo Nethunzwi 77 68 75
221 – Richard O’Donovan (IRE) 72 71 78
222 – Gerard Du Plooy 71 74 77, Albert Visser AMA 69 77 76, John Parkinson 72 74 76, Richard Kruger AMA 74 72 76
223 – CJ Levey 75 70 78, Divan Marais 70 76 77
224 – Alex Van Heerden AMA 75 71 78


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