A feast of first-time winners

31 July 2023 – One of GolfRSA’s primary objectives is to promote junior golf development by providing a strong national competitive platform where our rising talents can gain experience, improve their skills and test themselves at the highest level.

The recent June | July holidays were jam-packed with national events and what a treat to see the blossoming talent rise to the occasion! Let’s celebrate our first-time champions!


2023 Sun City Challenge champions Ruben-Hein Churr & Alex Frankel at the Gary Player Country Club; credit GolfRSA

Sun City U-15 and U-13 Challenge

Irene Country Club junior Ruben-Hein Churr broke through for his first national title in the U-15 Division with a memorable performance at The Home of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The 14-year-old Gauteng North golfer was three shots behind 2023 Nomads Gowrie Farm U-15 Challenge winner Minjun Heo, who fired an opening three-under-par 69, but a birdie-birdie start in the final round set the stage for Churr’s breakthrough. A second successive round of 72 saw Churr secure a four-shot victory over Jamie Smith.

In the U-13 Division, it was 12-year-old Alex Frankel from Boland who finished in the winner’s circle.

The Devonvale junior was delighted to finish with a pair of birdies after bumpy start at the iconic Gary Player Country Club to sign for a first-round 78. Starting the the final round eight shots off the pace, he navigated the championship layout in level par to edge Southern Cape’s Jordan Groenewald for a one shot victory on six over par.



2023 Nomads SA Boys U-17 Champion Marno Lange at Port Elizabeth Golf Club; credit GolfRSA

Nomads SA Boys U-17 Championship

Three off the pace after opening with a one-under 71 at Port Elizabeth Golf Club, Marno Lange rocketed into pole position in the second round after he eagled the par-five 18th for a round of 72.

The Serengeti golfer never looked back, keeping his foot on the pedal as the field faced tough weather conditions on the final day and showed his class when he fired four birdies down the stretch for a closing 73.

Lange won on level par 216, finishing one shot ahead of fellow GolfRSA National Squad member Johndre Ludick and two clear of Zinan Maimane.



2023 Nomads SA Girls Championship presented by Sun International winners Gia Raad, Charlene Stapelberg, Abigail Thambiran & Shane van der Merwe with Warren Mitchell from The Nomads Golf Club of South Africa; credit GolfRSA

Nomads SA Girls Championship, presented by Sun International

This year’s event drew a record field of 108 juniors, with a bumper Championship field of no less than 54 players competing for the coveted flagship title.

Reigning Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl champion Kyra van Kan looked on course for the calendar double after taking the 36-hole lead with rounds of 74 and 75, but two brilliant shots into the iconic 18th hole at the Gary Player Country Club was all Gia Raad needed to deny the GolfRSA No 1.

Five off the pace after earlier rounds of 76 and 77, Raad opened her final round campaign with three birdies on the trot to play herself into contention. Level with Van Kan heading to the final hole, the GolfRSA National Squad member hit a superb tee shot on the final hole and fired a pin-seeking approach into the par-four, leaving her with a tap-in birdie for a two-under-par 70.

Van Kan’s hopes of forcing a play-off evaporated when she bogeyed the 18th, leaving Raad to celebrate her national breakthrough with a two-shot victory on 223.

In the Silver Division, Graceland’s Cherise Stapelberg carded rounds of 96, 82 and 82 to win by five shots from Valentina Sakota, while Abigail Thambiran from Bluff National Park Golf Club won the Bronze Division by three points with rounds of 33 and 42 and Estcourt Golf Club’s Van der Merwe celebrated a runaway 13-point victory in the Copper Division on a winning total of 61.



2023 Nomads National Order of Merit Coastal winner Jack Buchanan with St Francis Links CEO Jeff Clause; credit GolfRSA

Nomads National Order of Merit Coastal

Milnerton Golf Club junior Jack Buchanan secured his first national victory after producing two superb sub-par rounds in challenging conditions to triumph at St Francis Links.

Starting the second round two shots behind pace-setters Charl Barnard, Vuyisani Makama, Fabrizio de Abreu and Jordan Wessels, Buchanan fired a three-under-par 69 at the Jack Nicklaus-signature course to into pole position.

The GolfRSA National Squad member slept on a four-shot cushion and closed the door on his challengers with a final round 70 to celebrate a seven-shot victory.



2023 Nomads National Order of Merit Inland winner Jordan Wessels at Irene Country Club; credit GolfRSA

Nomads National Order of Merit Inland

Jordan Wessels from Mooinooi Golf Club made it three consecutive wins for the GolfRSA National Squad when he triumphed at Irene Country Club.

Coming off a runner-up finish in the Prince’s Grant Invitational and victory in the KwaZulu-Natal Open Stroke Play, the North West junior lagged played superb golf on the two coldest days in July to celebrate his first national junior success.

Wessels lagged three off the pace after an opening 72, but two more level-par rounds saw him edge first round leader and fellow GolfRSA National Squad member Ben Weber by four shots to lift the title.