Cameron Moralee fired a brilliant closing round of 68 to become the second rookie to win twice on the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour this season. The 21-year-old triumphed in the 13th event of the season, which took place at Eagle Canyon Golf Estate, with a two-shot victory on 10 under par 206.
Cameron headed into the final 18 holes tied for second place with Juran Dreyer and Botswana’s Stuart Smith. The trio started the last day one shot shy of overnight leader, Matthew Spacey, but it took Cameron only seven holes to take the lead for the first time.
A birdie at the par five second kept him within a shot of Matthew, but after he bogeyed the par three fourth, he rallied with three birdies on the bounce, and turned on 10 under – well clear of the chasing pack.
“I hit a lob-wedge from 82 metres out to about a metre at the five hole. At the sixth, I chipped it to just over two metres and holed the putt, and at the seventh, I had 89 metres to the flag and hit a bob-wedge to about two metres out, and then boxed the putt,” Cameron said.
He had a moment of terror when the two-time IGT Challenge winner, Kyle Barker birdied at 10 and made three birdies on the trot from the 12th, and said, “Kyle holed a monster putt at 12 from about 80 metres for birdie and he drained two more long putts to tie with me on nine under after I had a bogey at 13. I hit a 5-iron off the tee and a 7-iron over the green. I chipped up and raced the first putt about a metre past the hole. Kyle was playing really solid golf, and I thought for sure we would be heading for a play-off, but then he hit a low, thin shot into the water at 15th and made seven. It was a pity, because I was enjoying our tussle. However, it meant that I could play the last three holes relatively stress free.
I was really pleased to seal the win with a birdie.”Cameron was still in the amateur ranks when he broke through on the IGT Challenge Tour with a wire-to-wire victory at Ruimsig Country Club during last year’s Race to Q-School Series, and turned pro at the start of the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour in April.
He banked cheques in his two subsequent starts, but a pinched ligament in his shoulder kept him on the bench for six weeks in the middle of the season, and said, “Luckily I didn’t miss any tournaments and I was ecstatic when I got my first win in August.
”He tied for second after his first win and finished seventh in the 10th event at Services, but unexpectedly missed the cut in Reading. “I just couldn’t sink a putt and was frustrated because I was hitting the ball really well. I worked with my coach John Dickson at Copperleaf and putted much better at Lake Country Club, but I left a lot of putts on the lip,” he said.
“Now I just have to make the most of my game to keep myself in the Top 3, with three tournaments to go,” Cameron said.
Juran fired two great shots at 14 and tapped in for an eagle before he birdied the closing hole for a final round 70 to seal second on his own with an eight under 208.
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