16th March 2017 | Sunshine Tour
Eyes on Q-School prize for Loubser after fourth round
Herman Loubser reclaimed top spot on the leaderboard at Final Stage Qualifying School at Randpark Golf Club on Thursday when he signed for a round of six-under-par 66 to total 17-under for the week.
With this effort, Herman usurped Botswana’s Stuart Smith at the summit and recorded his second 66 at this testing five-round tournament where the top 30 players and ties are guaranteed playing privileges on the Sunshine Tour for next season. He would have signed for a flawless round had he not dropped on the par-four 16th, a hole many have struggled with this week.
“It’s the second time I dropped on 16 here, so that’s my nemesis hole for the week. I played very good golf and I’m happy with the 17-under-par, so I can’t complain,” he said. “There’s a lot of long irons you have to hit in. I blocked the tee-shot a bit to the right today; had to chip in and so that was where the fault came but 16, 17 and 18 are very long and tough holes,” he added.
After a long and gruelling week, Loubser says he feels relaxed and will just keep calm and finish the tournament the way he began it and not stress too much on the course.
Second on 16-under for the tournament, England’s Scott Campbell shot a five-under-par 67 round, while his compatriot Chris Lloyd shot the same score but remained a stroke back of Campbell to occupy third spot on 15-under.
“I’m in a good position to go into the final round and I can’t complain,” Campbell said. The stretch from 16 to 18 seems to be every player’s nemesis because he, too, dropped a shot on 18. “At 16 you have to hit a very good tee-shot, 17 is just a long par-three and 18, too, you must hit a good tee-shot there,” he said. “You will take three pars every day of the week there.”
A rocky start for Lloyd did not stop him positioning himself favourably going into the final round. Teeing off from the 10th, he bogeyed his first two holes but recovered with a pair of birdies on 12 and 14 – his third and fifth. The homeward nine was much better as he made five birdies to a 15-under-par total. “I have played well all week so it was a case of not panicking,” he said of his shaky start to the round.
“I just had to stick to my guns. It was a nice back nine for me. The card is pretty much locked up so tomorrow is all about winning,” said Lloyd.
Stuart Smith finished at 13-under after he fired one-under-par 71. Martin Rohwer, Cody Martin, Wynand Dingle, Andre Nel, Luke Jerling and Combrinck Smit made up the top 10 going into the final round.
The cut to the top 60 players and ties ahead of the final round race for Sunshine Tour eligibility was made at two-over par.