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Golf | SA

Kyle Lucas © CJ du Plooy

Lucas edges clear of pack at Killarney



Kyle Lucas will carry a one-stroke lead into the final round at Killarney Country Club as he goes in search of a first IGT Challenge Tour title in the 15th event of the Race to Q-School Series.

Rounds of 66 and 67 have moved the Alberton golfer to seven-under-par 133 and given Lucas an excellent platform heading into Wednesday’s last round.

“With a wedding, a honeymoon and a trip to Asia all still happening this month, I can definitely do with the first prize cheque,” joked the 26-year-old. “I won’t have an easy ride to the finish line, though.”

Six players are within three shots of his lead, including former Sunshine Tour campaigner Roberto Lupini and Italian Philip Geerts, who carded respective rounds of 69 and 67 to finish just one shot off the pace.

An eagle at 15 and a birdie at 18 helped joint overnight leader Ruhan van Dijk to regain his footing with a 70. The Kempton Park amateur is a further shot back at five under.

Matt Bright, Hendrikus Stoop and Juan Langeveld close out the top five at three-under 137.

Lucas began the second round one behind Lupini and Van Dijk.

He got his round off and running with a solid par at the 10th, but dropped the second.

“I hit a 4-iron and it flew left,” he said. “I ended up with a buried lie in the rough, but I somehow got it out and found the greenside bunker. I couldn’t up-and-down to save par, but at the next hole, I hit a great pitching wedge approach to 15 foot and holed the birdie putt.”

A brilliant 9-iron into 15 handed Lucas an eagle chance, but he left the putt short. “Didn’t make a mistake with the birdie putt and I turned one-over,” he said.

Lucas reeled in another pair of birdies at two and eight, but missed a birdie chance at nine.

“I was striking the ball better over the first nine holes, but overall, it wasn’t a great ball striking day. I hit a lot of approach shots between 10 and 15 feet, so I’d have to say that my chipping and putting was solid, though, and definitely saved me.

“If the game comes together nicely, who knows what will happen. It would be great to say goodbye to South Africa on a high note.”

Lucas spent four years competing on the collegiate circuit in the United States, but circumstances demanded that he took a fulltime job when he returned to South Africa. For the last couple of years he worked in sales at an Australian Short Team Insurer and kept his game competitive with the odd start on the IGT Challenge Tour.

A stint in Asia inspired the Reading golfer to quit his job, wed his fiancée Lara de Villiers and after the honeymoon, the pair are off to Asia.

“My wife is going to teach English and I’m going to play several of the Asian circuits, but I’ll mainly compete on the Asian Development Tour, the Thailand PGA Tour, the Pilipino Tour and Indian Tour,” Lucas said. “I’m very excited about the future.

“I was in sales and the work was getting seriously repetitive. I went to try for a card at the Asian Tour Qualifying School last year and I just loved it over there. And Lara shares my enthusiasm and wanderlust, so it’s a whole new adventure for both of us.”

SECOND-ROUND SCORES

133 - Kyle Lucas 66 67

134 - Roberto Lupini 65 69, Philip Geerts (ITA) 67 67

135 - Ruhan van Dijk AMA 65 70

137 - Matt Bright 69 68, Hendrikus Stoop 67 70, Juan Langeveld 69 68

138 - Jack Duthie 70 68, Jade Buitendag 68 70, Bryce Myburgh 66 72

139 - James Pennington (SWA) 72 67, Eric Nel 68 71

140 - Steven Lecuyer (CAN) 71 69

141 - Tertius van den Berg 70 71, Jason Roets 70 71, Carlo Heunis AMA 73 68

142 - Norman Beggs 72 70, Clinton Grobler 71 71, Wayne Stroebel 73 69, Arno Pretorius AMA 71 71

143 - Ruan Korb 73 70, Conway Kunneke 75 68, Leon Visser 70 73, Mark James (ENG) 71 72, Divan Marais 72 71, Quintin Crause 71 72, Neal Herman 68 75, Angus Ellis-Cole AMA 68 75

144 - Jaco van der Merwe AMA 74 70, Paul de Beer 72 72, Evance Vukeya 71 73, Leon Vorster AMA 71 73, Bennie van der Merwe 71 73

145 - WM Coetzee AMA 75 70, Basil Wright 75 70, Shaun van Tonder 77 68, Michael Dreyer 72 73, Tiaan Diederiks 74 71, Gianni Pera AMA 70 75

146 - Paul Rodrigues AMA 72 74, Jens Hillerman AMA 76 70, Michael Pfeifer AMA 77 69, Albert Visser 74 72, John Bele 71 75

147 - David Rebelo AMA 75 72, Werner van Wyk 75 72, Michael Schutz 74 73, Andi Dill 73 74, Juran Dreyer AMA 75 72, NJ van der Walt AMA 73 74, David Mofokeng (LSO) 74 73, Peetie van der Merwe 73 74

148 - Eric Park (KOR) 74 74, Thabi Ngcobo 75 73, Paul Boshoff 73 75<

149 - Matthew Rossouw AMA 76 73, Zabastian de Jager 79 70, Louis Botha 73 76, Daniel Joubert 78 71, Bryce McCabe 75 74, Matthew Hands AMA 77 72

Missed the cut

150 - Ruben Labuschagne 75 75

151 - Aneel Kallan AMA 76 75, Christian Larsson (SWE) 81 70, Stephan de Beer 75 76, Brandon Lydon AMA 78 73, Stephan Erasmus 73 78, Dylan Morton AMA 77 74, Allan Jirek AMA (CZ) 75 76

152 - Liam Clinton AMA 75 77, Jancarel Rossouw AMA 80 72, Jason Ackerman AMA 79 73, Nqobani Ndabambi 78 74, Tristan Brice AMA 80 72

153 - Axel Arinbjarnarson (SWE) 74 79, Andrej Skrbinsek AMA 79 74, Werner Lourens 80 73, Ryan Woolley AMA 76 77

154 - Keanu Pestana AMA 76 78, Wayne du Toit 77 77, Duan Nagel AMA 79 75

155 - Marcus Smal AMA 78 77, Gary Jutzen AMA 74 81

156 - Jay Dean Fourie 76 80, Mpho Mafishe 76 80, Alwyn Smith AMA 80 76, Jonathan Kotzen AMA 79 77

157 - Matthew Kiewitz AMA 81 76

159 - Matthew Vogel 79 80

162 - Mohammed Ismail AMA 84 78

167 - Adam Baker 79 88

168 - Bradley Van Biljon 80 88

169 - Trevor Barnes AMA 83 86

171 - Thabang Tlou 90 81

181 - Adam Cooper 89 92



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