Q-SCHOOL IS NOT FOR SISSIES
Life in the paid ranks is tough, but it is nothing compared to the ultimate test in golf – Qualifying School. A battle from start to finish, the week-long examination is pressure-packed and mind draining; a gut-check week that launches a select few to the top and breaks the spirit of many.
“Golf is a sport that pits veterans against rookies for their jobs and heartbreak is the very nature of golf,” said IGT Tour Commissioner Cois du Plooy.
“More than often, young amateurs are at the receiving end. As the country’s premier developmental golf tour, we provide a year-long circuit where players can actively work on their games to prepare for the transition to the Sunshine Tour. We work closely with coaches to provide objective counsel, but most players need to be convinced. That’s why we introduced the IGT Race to Q-School
“The series provides players with a comparative system to rate their performance against the pros.”
The IGT Tour has had a great strike rate at the Sunshine Tour’s Q-School in the last three years.
Twenty-three of the 30 qualifiers in 2013 were IGT Tour campaigners, while 25 and 24 qualified in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Of the eight IGT Tour graduates who finished in the top 10 in the Rookie Race in 2013, seven competed in the Race to Q-School and six of Race to Q-School players finished in the top 10 last year. Currently nine IGT Tour graduates are inside the current top 10.
“Ten years ago, the top 30 cut at the Sunshine Tour Q-School fell at six over, but last year it was three under. If you consider that the last spot for this year’s Sunshine Tour’s eight pre-qualifying events this year averaged 1.5 under par, the reality is that a player has to maintain a stroke average under par to compete on the Sunshine Tour.
“We are obviously proud of our figures, but our concern is the players who are lost to golf just because their preparation was inadequate. We believe the Race to Q-School provides a very good barometer for pros and amateurs heading to Q-School.
“It not only gives the players nine weeks of highly competitive golf to prepare for Q-School, but provides them with the statistical information to make a calculated and informed decision about their readiness to enter the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School.”
The IGT Race to Q-School season started at Ruimsig Country Club from 5-7 October and concludes at Centurion Country Club on 30 November 2015. The Sunshine Tour Qualifying School is scheduled from 8 – 12 December in Bloemfontein.
Harrismith amateur Louis Taylor delivered a mature final round performance in the BDGA Academy Classic to end an 18-month title drought and seal his second IGT Tour victory at Eagle Canyon Cou ntry Club. The 24-year-old Free State golfer erased a one stroke deficit with a final round 71 to close out a two stroke victory on four-under-par 212.
The IGT Tour’s young guns love to tease Brett Liddle by calling him “old man” but the seasoned Boksburg pro muzzled the youngsters with a wire-to-wire victory in the ERMP Challenge. The 45-year-old used his wealth of experience in tough scoring conditions at ERPM Golf Club to cruise to a four stroke victory on seven-under-par 209. His ninth professional win also earned Liddle the distinction as the IGT Tour’s oldest champion and it’s an accolade Large wears with pride.
GFG ACADEMY CLASSIC
Pretoria’s Lean Boezaart overcame a late wobble to march to his fourth IGT Tour victory in the GFG Academy Classic at Irene Country Club. The 29-year-old former chartered accountant made a rare miscalculation at the par-four 14th and a visit to the water hazard cost him two shots, but he rallied with birdies at 15, 16 and 17 for a four under 68 to close out a five stroke victory on 16-under-par 200.
Visit our website for more information on the Academies www.igtgolf.org | IGT Contact: 0783300440