Conradie gets best Challenge Tour finish with 14th in Italian Challenge

It was his first start on the Challenge Tour outside South Africa, and Ruan Conradie made it count as he finished in a share of 14th in the Italian Challenge on Sunday.

He closed with a two-under-par 69 to post his best finish in four starts on the Challenge Tour this year, three of which were in South Africa. He’s currently in 27th on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, and, with his finish in Italy, he climbs to 80th on the Challenge Tour rankings.

His closing round at Margara Golf Club in Fubine started with a par on the first hole, but he then dropped a shot on the par-four second. He made up for that with two birdies before the turn, and he picked up another on the 10th to get it to two-under. A bogey on 14 slowed him a little, but he regained that stroke with a birdie on 15. But that was how it ended for him as he climbed four places on the leaderboard to finish nine shots behind winner Richard Gouveia of Portugal.

JC Ritchie, who was in contention throughout, carded a final round of one-over 72 to finish in a share of 21st – good enough for him to climb to 14th on the Challenge Tour rankings.

Jacques Blaauw closed out his week with a level-par 71 to finish in a share of 38th together with Oliver Bekker, who signed for a one-under 70. Blaauw slipped three places to 20th on the rankings, while Bekker was unchanged in fifth.

Hennie du Plessis, who missed the cut, slipped to 51st on the rankings.

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