Less than a fortnight since his Race to Asian Q-School Series triumph at his home course, Wanderers amateur Bryn Flanagan laid down a marker in the first round of the IGT Tour’s second Race to Q-School at Modderfontein Golf Club.
The recent University of Houston graduate fired an opening five-under-par 67 for a two stroke lead over Coert Groenewald.
He has a three stroke advantage on Duane Keun and Northern Ireland’s John McClean and is four shots clear of Jerry Steyn, the only other player to break par.
Flanagan overcame a bogey start with birdie at the second and holed a 35-meter chip shot for eagle at the par-four third.
Although he erased a birdie at the fourth with bogey at the fifth, he gained another shot at the par-five seventh and parred the next two holes to turn in three under.
“The eagle gave my round some momentum and I quickly got past the drop at the fifth,” Flanagan said.
“I picked up two more birdies after the turn, but I had a three-putt bogey at the 15th, so it was really nice to finish with a birdie.
“I was a member here as a junior, so the course feels very familiar. Although they’ve made some changes, the layout hasn’t changed much and the greens are great as ever.”
The 23-year-old Johannesburg amateur is quietly confident of another solid performance.
“The win at Wanderers so close to my return from the United States really gave me a boost,” he said.
“I was a little disappointed with my first two rounds at Koro Creek last week, especially with R20,000 to play for, but I let the course get to me.
“You needed to stay patient, especially with the greens. I did much better in the final round and I felt the game and the confidence coming back.
“It is early days, yet, but I have a nice two shot cushion to build on,” he said.
“You can’t get too heroic out there, so I’ll just stick to the fairways and greens and get aggressive where the course allows it.”
Groenewald was equally impressive with five birdies, but dropped away with bogeys at the 11th and 14th, while Keun dipped to five under through 10 holes before a spate of bogeys derailed his opening campaign.
FIRST ROUND SCORES
67 – Bryn Flanagan (AMA)
69 – Coert Groenewald
70 – Duane Keun, John McClean NIR
71 – Jerry Steyn
72 – Christiaan Pretorius, Russel Franz
73 – Rosswell Sinclair (AMA), James Searson, Andi Dill (AMA), Werner Van Niekerk, Marius Meyer (AMA)
74 – Jason Ackerman (AMA)
75 – Simon Kruger (AMA), Stephan De Beer, Jason Diab (AMA), Etzard Grimbeek (AMA), Daniel Joubert (AMA)
76 – Gareth Akers (AMA), Armandt Scholtz (AMA), Johannes Frahs AUT (AMA), Herman Minnie, Pieter Van der Linde (AMA)
77 – Wesley Horngren, Niel Meyer, Philip Geerts ITA(AMA), Tyron Mc Comb, David Rebelo (AMA)
78 – David Lamprecht, Calvin Caldeira (AMA), Alwyn Vorster, Andre Pistorius
79 – Shaun van Tonder, Matthew Spacey (AMA), Houston Harwood (AMA)
80 – Mark Fairbank (AMA), Hein Barnard (AMA)
81 – Werner Lourens (AMA)
82 – Justin Levy NED
83 – Arno Bartholoma GER (AMA), Stephan Erasmus (AMA), Tiaan Swart (AMA), Jean-Francois Erasmus (AMA)
87 – Dylan Raubenheimer (AMA)
N/R – Lourens Du Plessis