2006 WATC Press Release

Stellenbosch, South Africa – The South African Golf Association (SAGA) and Womens Golf South Africa (WGSA) announced today the teams selected to contest for the Eisenhower and Espirito Santos Trophies during the World Amateur Golf Team Championships (WATC) to be held in Stellenbosch in October this year. The teams will be competing against a record entry of 75 mens and 51 women’s countries from around the world, vying for the prestigious championship trophies.

This is the first time the championships, held biennially around the world, will be held in Africa.

In early April a squad of the top six womens and top six mens players were selected, using the order of merit and stroke averages. A management team was appointed to prepare and mentor the squads, ensuring that today the best three players from each squad are chosen to represent South Africa.

“As this is the first time that this great event is being played in South Africa, and possibly will not come back to South Africa in our lifetimes, the selectors were tasked with naming the strongest side possible to take advantage of local conditions”, Neels Steyn, the President of the South African Golf Association said. “The Executive has ratified their selection and it is now up to the teams to produce the goods”

The men selected to play in the team representing South Africa are Charl Coetzee (25), Christiaan Basson (24) and Dawie van der Walt (23), all from Cape Town. The team will be captained and managed by Enver Hassen, the Vice President of the SAGA as well as a member of the successful bid team in Malaysia in 2002.

Dawie was a member of the team competing for the Eisenhower Trophy at the 2004 WATC and is a top ranked golfer on the American College circuit. Charl, the reigning Western Province Amateur Champion, and Christiaan are extremely excited to be representing the country at this level for the first time. “I am sure that the best wishes of all South African golfers go with Enver and his team for the Championship and their progress will be closely followed” said Steyn.

The womens team members are Ashleigh Simon (17), and Stacy Bregman (19), both from Gauteng and Kelli Shean (18), from Western Province. Ashleigh was a member of the 2004 WATC team, but for Stacy and Kelli it is a first. The team will be captained by Sandra Winter, a member of the SA team in Puerto Rico at the 2004 Espirito Santo, and coached by Fancourts Val Holland. “Our management team, including sports psychologist Bev Mould, have done a fantastic job and we can confidently present a team to you who are ready to take on the world” said Caroline Kettlewell, president of WGSA. “I congratulate all three on their selection and I am sure that I speak for all South African golfers when I wish them the best of luck for a successful campaign against the worlds top amateur golfers”.

To be eligible to compete, the players must be amateur golfers under the Rules of the Amateur Status of either the R&A or the United States Golf Association and citizens of the countries they represent. A player with dual nationality who has played for one country in a Championship may, in the immediately following Championship, play for the other country of which he or she is a citizen, provided he or she has been a citizen of the other country for at least one year.

The best performance by a South African mens team was 2nd place achieved in 1980 by the team of Ettienne Groenewald, Duncan Lindsay-Smith, Wayne Player and David Suddards. The best performance by a South African womens team was also 2nd place. This was achieved in 1974 by the team of Jenny Bruce, Lisle Nel and Alison Sheard.

The World Amateur Team Championships, conducted by the International Golf Federation (IGF), are two international team golf events competing for the Espirito Santo Trophy (womens competition since 1964) and the Eisenhower Trophy (mens competition since 1958), named after the then president Dwight D. Eisenhower. The IGF (formerly the World Amateur Golf Council) was founded in 1958 to encourage the international development of golf and to employ the game as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship among the people of the world. Serving as the International Olympic Committees recognized International Federation for Golf, the IGF is comprised of the national governing bodies of golf in more than 100 countries.

The championships are hosted by the South African Golf Association and Womens Golf South Africa. Both championships are conducted over 72 holes of stroke play for teams of three players. Two rounds are played on each course with the two lowest scores to count in each round. The team with the lowest combined score wins. The 2006 World Amateur Team Championships will be played at De Zalze Golf Club and Stellenbosch Golf Club in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The Womens World Amateur Team Championship will be played 18-21 October, followed by the Mens World Amateur Team Championship 26-29 October.

For more information visit: www.worldamateur2006.org

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