Conradie attacks at Wingate Park, leads SunBet Challenge

Aug 19, 2021 | Featured, Sunshine Tour

Estiaan Conradie is the stay-home brother in the Conradie family, and he took full advantage of his home course at Wingate Park Golf Club on Thursday as he carded a seven-under-par 65 to top the second-round leaderboard of the SunBet Challenge hosted by Time Square Casino.

With brother Ruan, already a Sunshine Tour winner, trying his hand on the Challenge Tour in Europe, Estiaan made an astonishing six threes on the front nine on his way home after he started his round on the 10th. That included an eagle, three birdies and two pars for a homeward 30 after he had turned in two-under 35 on the back nine.

That gave him a one-stroke lead over Malcolm Mitchell, who also carded a seven-under 65 to move to seven-under for the tournament, while Jaco Ahlers was in third on six-under after a five-under 67 in the second round. Nikhil Rama was in fourth on five-under, while Wynand Dingle and Paul Boshoff shared fifth on four-under.

“The course was actually set up for me to play aggressively,” said Conradie, “so I took full advantage of the fact that I know Wingate Park so well. I know where I can be aggressive, and I know where to miss it if the pin is tucked somewhere.”

He made three birdies on the back nine, and then came the only blemish on his card, a bogey on 18. “That was really just bad decision-making,” he said, “and getting away from my aggressive gameplan. When I got to the front nine, I had made the decision to go back to that gameplan.”

The decision paid early dividends as he mad eagle on two, “I hit a good drive that was just off the fairway on the right,” he said. “There was a bit of help with the wind coming from behind, and I hit a nine-iron 160 in to five feet and made the putt.”

That was the first of the six threes on that nine, with birdies on four, seven and nine, and pars on the two par-threes, five and eight.

“I was making putts today,” said Conradie, “rather than hitting the ball particularly well, and that will be important in the final round too.

“I need to take that momentum into the final round, and, depending on the pin positions, I will be as aggressive as I can be. That’s what works for me around here.”

More of the same could make him a Sunshine Tour winner too.

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