Fourways amateur Matthew Spacey claimed his first IGT Tour title with a sensational performance in the final round of the sixth Race to Q-School event at Wanderers Golf Club on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Dainfern golfer showed amazing maturity under pressure to rack up eight birdies for a flawless 63 to claim an eight stroke victory on eight-under-par 201.

The podium finish was perfectly timed and the Gauteng `amateur hopes to carry his hot form to his first provincial amateur victory this weekend.

“This is the best I’ve played in a long time and I just want to bottle the confidence after this round and take it to the Central Gauteng Open this weekend,” Spacey said.

“I’ve had a lot of close calls this season, but it would be awesome to end the title drought at my home Open at Royal Johannesburg.”

Spacey began the final round in a three-way tie for the lead with professionals Jaco Prinsloo and Calvin Caldeira.

He birdied the first and third holes, but three successive birdies saw him take a four shot lead at the turn. The TuksSport Golf Academy member kept his foot on the accelerator and birdied the two par fives and the par-four 16th to seal his triumph.

Prinsloo and Caldeira registered 70s, amateurs Hennie du Plessis and Breyten Meyer both carded 68 and former top SA amateur Matthew Kent produced an equally impressive, blemish-free 64 to tie for second on 208.

“I saw Matthew was burning up the course ahead of me and I knew I had to birdie the two par-fives to stay ahead,” Spacey said.

“I hit a good drive down the 10th and a solid seven-iron into the green and two putted for birdie. One done, one to go. At the 13th, I hit three-wood off the tee and took three-wood for my second, but I ended up in the greenside bunker. I up-and-downed to go seven under.

“I had a pretty big lead and I just told myself not to dropp any shots on the way home. The birdie at 16 was really a bonus, because I hit my tee shot way right into the trees. I had an open line to the green, though, and hit an eight-iron to three feet.”

Spacey is playing the IGT Tour’s Race to Q-School to prepare for the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School at the end of January. He tied for seventh in his first start at Krugersdorp Golf Club earlier this month and finished joint fourth at Benoni Country Club last week.

Spacey says he still has a lot of work to do with his coach, Llewellyn van Leeuwen, but he was thrilled to win in only his third start on the country’s premier development Tour.

“I wanted to compete against the pros to gain experience and confidence,” he said.

“My goal was to try and finish in the top 10 each time I teed it up in the Race to Q-School and it feels really good to have that going. This win has given my confidence a really good boost. I’ll enjoy this, but its back to the grinding stone tomorrow.”

FINAL RESULT

201 - Matthew Spacey (AMA) 68 70 63

208 - Matthew Kent 70 74 64, Hennie du Plessis (AMA) 70 70 68, Breyten Meyer (AMA) 69 71 68, Jaco Prinsloo 75 63 70, Calvin Caldeira 70 68 70

209 - Coert Groenewald 70 70 69, Andrew McLardy 72 67 70

210 - Ryan Tipping 72 70 68

211 - Neil Cheetham ENG 71 72 68

212 - Simon Kruger (AMA) 71 70 71

213 - Jonathan Waschefort 66 74 73

214 - Rosswell Sinclair (AMA) 69 74 71

215 - Werner Van Niekerk 76 71 68

216 - Armandt Scholtz (AMA) 68 78 70

217 - Jacquin Hess 73 73 71, Stephan Erasmus (AMA) 72 74 71, DK Kim KOR 72 73 72

218 - Pieter Kruger 72 74 72, Bryn Flanagan (AMA) 71 74 73, Jerry Steyn 71 73 74, Arthur Horne SWZ 73 70 75

219 - Herman Minnie 72 75 72, Arno Bartholoma GER 72 75 72, Jacques de Villiers 73 71 75, Rae Mackie 72 71 76

220 - John McClean NIR 73 74 73, Michael Armstrong (AMA) 76 72 72, Brett Liddle 76 74 70, Antonio Rosado POR 71 72 77

221 - Ockert Strydom 71 79 71, Russel Franz 73 78 70

222 - Joubert van Eeden (AMA) 74 76 72, Romano Saincic 77 74 71, Terence Boardman 82 71 69

223 - Ruan Huysamen NAM 74 78 71, Gareth Akers (AMA) 77 76 70, Mark Fraser 72 81 70, Sarel Boshoff (AMA) 78 75 70

224 - Dylan de Beer 79 68 77, Christiaan Pretorius 73 76 75, Lean Boezaart 77 73 74, Burger Heckroodt (AMA) 78 73 73

225 - Dwayne Coetzee 72 78 75, Danie Pretorius 74 77 74

226 - Ryan Gosling 75 75 76

227 - Niel Meyer 73 79 75, Murray Smit 79 74 74

229 - Andrew Carlsson (AMA) 77 77 75

231 - Mark Fairbank (AMA) 77 77 77

232 - Matthew Kiewitz (AMA) 76 74 82`

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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