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JOHANNESBURG, 2 September 2014 – Overnight leader Werner van Niekerk (pictured by CJ du Plooy) put himself in prime position for a maiden pro win when he opened up an almost unsurmountable lead in the second round of the IGT Tour’s Race to Asian Q-School on Tuesday.

Two eagles in a round of five-under-par 67 helped the 23-year-old Pretoria professional to a seven-stroke advantage on 11-under-par 133 at Modderfontein Golf Club.

Amateur Hennie du Plessis held on for a share of second on four under despite a double-bogey finish with a 73 to join Bryandrew Roelofze, who signed for a 70.

Conway Kunneke charged up the leaderboard with a 69 to tie Antonio Rosado for fifth at three under after the three-time IGT Tour winner stumbled with a 74.

Bryn Flanagan, who carded a 70 to finish on 143, completes the small group of players who finished below par.

The big-hitting Van Niekerk lifted off with an eagle at the par-five first and added birdies fourth, fifth and eight to widen the gap on his challengers.

He dipped to seven under with his second eagle at the par-five 10th and traded back-to-back bogeys at the 11th and 12thfor a pair of birdies at 13 and 14.

A double bogey at the par-four 15th briefly interrupted his momentum, but the TuksSport Golf Academy member kept a cool head to finish with three straight pars.

“It definitely wasn’t a pretty, but I got the job done,” said Van Niekerk. “I lost focus when we got to the 15th tee because my playing partner had some issues at previous hole and we ended up a hole behind the field.

“I pulled out a four-iron instead of the two-iron I usually play and ended up in the water. I scrambled for par at the next hole, though, and I finally beat the 17th hole.

“My tee shot caught a little knoll and bounced left against a tree. I had to punch out between my legs, but I made a great up-and-down from 60 meters out for par. First time in three tournaments.”

In addition to three runner-up finishes this season, Van Niekerk has reeled in nine top 10 finishes and believes he is ready to deliver a winning performance.

“I am exactly where I aimed to be at the start of the second round,” the Wingate Park golfer said.

“I have a realistic shot at claiming my first pro title and, after three runner-up finishes, I believe I’m ready to win. All I have to do is keep my card clean tomorrow and I could come out on top.”

SECOND ROUND SCORES

133 - Werner Van Niekerk 66 67

140 - Bryandrew Roelofsz 70 70, Hennie Du Plessis (AMA) 67 73

141 - Conway Kunneke 72 69, Antonio Rosado POR 67 74

143 - Bryn Flanagan (AMA) 73 70

144 - Leon Scheepers (AMA) 73 71

145 - Wayne du Toit 75 70, David Meyers (AMA) 74 71, Russel Franz 72 73

146 - Matthew Kiewitz (AMA) 76 70, Rosswell Sinclair (AMA) 76 70, Ted Hendriks 74 72, John McClean NIR 73 73

147 - Tyron McComb 73 74, Jaco Mouton 73 74

148 - Coert Groenewald 74 74

149 - Stephan De Beer (AMA) 75 74, Jandre Fullard (AMA) 71 78

150 - TJ Bekker 76 74, Murray Smit 75 75, Hilton Hughes (AMA) 75 75, Niel Meyer (AMA) 75 75, Byron Garvie 74 76

151 - Jacquin Hess 76 75, Michael Van Hoeck (AMA) 75 76, Calvin Caldeira (AMA) 75 76, Hano van der Walt 74 77, Louwtjie J van Vuuren (AMA) 70 81, Ruan Huysamen NAM 70 81

152 - Lean Boezaart 73 79

153 - Nico Du Buisson (AMA) 74 79

154 – James Garlinge (AMA) 75 79, Michael Dreyer 78 76, DK Kim KOR 72 82

155 - Keegan Steyn (AMA) 77 78, Shaun van Tonder 84 71

156 - Ryan Gosling 78 78, Gustav Gouws (AMA) 79 77

157 - Christiaan Pretorius 80 77

158 - Clinton Cheia (AMA) 78 80, Werner van der Walt 78 80, David Lamprecht 83 75

159 - Glen de Waal NAM 78 81, Michael Petersen (AMA) 80 79

Missed the cut:-

160 - Johann Dannhauser 76 84, Alwyn Vorster 78 82, Gareth Akers (AMA) 78 82, Herman Minnie 75 85

161 - Michael Schutz (AMA) 82 79, Stephan Erasmus (AMA) 84 77

162 - Simon Kruger (AMA) 82 80

165 - Ryan Wingrove (AMA) 78 87, JP Schmidt (AMA) 81 84, Pieter Van der Linde (AMA) 83 82

166 - Jeremy D’Argent MUS (AMA) 84 82, Dwayne Coetzee 86 80

167 - Jerry Steyn 84 83, Jadrick Fourie (AMA) 85 82

170 - David Marks (AMA) 85 85

171 - Craig Dreyer 84 87

174 - Phillip Calitz (AMA) 88 86

175 - Christopher Hardy MUS (AMA) 85 90

177 - Brendan Britten NAM (AMA) 88 89, Daniel Joubert (AMA) 89 88

178 - Benjamin Cobbett (AMA) 90 88

180 - Christiaan Greyling (AMA) 92 88

194 - Gustav Erasmus 96 98

N/R - Rhoan Gardiner 76 N/R

RTD - Mark Fraser 84 RTD

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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