18th April 2018 | Big Easy Tour
Mostert grinds to maiden win on Big Easy IGT
Dylan Mostert closed out a memorable maiden win in the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour #1 after emerging from an enthralling final day battle with a one-shot victory at Silver Lakes Country Club on Wednesday.
The Edenvale golfer was hoping to follow up a promising fourth place finish in his pro debut on the IGT Challenge Tour in Germiston last week and a well-constructed five-under 67 in round two shot him to the top of the pile.
Mostert carried a three-shot lead into the final round, but squandered his advantage in the first 10 holes. However, as Cameron Moralee and Ruan Korb both made charges towards the title, the rookie showed some real guts to grind out seven pars and a lone birdie for an even-par 72 to cement victory on eight-under 208.
“I’m so proud of the way I hung on and stayed in the fight, because that was a proper grind,” said the delighted 19-year-old.
“I wasn’t hitting it as pure as I did in the first two days and the putter was cold. The first 10 holes were topsy-turvy, starting with a three putt. And the last eight was pure grind.”
Mostert tapped in for birdie at the second to counter the bogey start, but hit it into the trees at the fourth, leading to another bogey.
“I holed a two-footer for birdie at six and two-putted from 50 foot at seven for another birdie to get to one-under and made a huge momentum putt for par at eight, but then I dropped 10 and 11,” he said.
“I couldn’t up and down at 10 and I hit a poor chip at 11. I knew I would have to stay really patient down the back nine and keep the bogeys off my card.”
Moralee, playing in the group ahead of Mostert, made his move with a brace of birdies at 13 and 14 to take the lead at eight under. Mostert rallied with a great up and down at the par five 15th to draw level, while moved within a shot of the leading pair with a birdie at the par four 12th.
“It was really tight over the last couple of holes, but I just stayed in the moment,” said Mostert. “The only thing I could control was how I played.
“I holed a six-foot downhill slider at 16 for par, made a great up and down for par at 17 and headed to the 18th still tied for the lead with Cameron. Ruan up ahead birdied 18, so he was sitting at seven-under, too.
“After I hit driver left into the trees at 18, I saw that Cameron had hit his third shot in the water. I knew I didn’t have to do anything fancy to win; I just needed a cool head. I punched out, got it on the green and two-putted for the win from about 25 foot. The relief was extreme.”
Mostert, who won the IGT Betterball Wanderers with Kyle Barker as an amateur, was delighted to break his professional duck in the new collaboration between the Big Easy Tour and the IGT Challenge Tour.
“It’s a dream start,” said the Ekurhuleni golfer. “To kick off with a win is huge. There are 15 tournaments on the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour and that’s 15 chances to finish in the top 10 and get a card for the Sunshine Tour.
“There isn’t a huge difference between the two Tours, because the course set-up, the pace of play and everything else is the same. But there is definitely more pressure, playing for 10 cards. I had no expectations. I just played shot for shot and I didn’t get hung up on the bogeys or the bad shots. That’s something I’ve learned to do well on the IGT Challenge Tour and that got me through that rough patch at the start of the round. Still 14 to go, but this is a dream start.”
Moralee closed with a 69 and announced his arrival in the pro ranks with a tie for second with Korb, who returned a 70. Last week’s IGT Challenge Tour winner Hendrikus Stoop took third on six-under with a final round 69.