12 November 2023 – GolfRSA National Squad pair Jordan Burnand and Ivan Verster continued South Africa’s proud record in Argentina with a superb showing in the prestigious Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup and Argentine Amateur Championship.
Despite having to wait until the second day of the tournament to start their campaign in the Copa Tailhade, the Protea pair notched a fourth-place finish in the tightly-contested team competition, recording the country’s ninth consecutive top five finish since 2011.
Torrential rain that led to waterlogged greens during the opening round at Los Lagartos Country Club resulted in several suspensions, and the organisers were forced to abandon play and reduce the 51st edition to 54 holes.
Felix Bourchard and Brady McKinlay went wire-to-wire to triumph to lift the trophy for a second time for Canada on a winning total of four-under 422.
Burnand opened with a two-under-par 69 and Verster carded a level-par 71 to put South Africa in contention with a team score of 140.
The SA duo added further rounds of 143 and 144 to finish on 426, one shot behind Denmark and Switzerland, who shared second. Defending champions Spain rounding out the top five on four-over.
Spanish golfer Luis Masaveu fired rounds of 66, 70 and 69 to take the individual honours.
“You always feel like you could have done better, but we are happy that we managed to finish in the top four,” said Burnand, who tied for 12th on two-over.
“I am really proud of how Ivan handled his first appearance in the green and gold. He was very solid throughout and played some impressive golf. I was a little disappointed with my performance, but we are nevertheless proud that we kept South Africa’s record of top five finishes in the Copa Tailhade alive and we look forward to the next one.”
Verster, who finished joint fifth on one-under, said the experience so far has been amazing.
“Jordan and I are so grateful for this opportunity,” the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member said. “We have been bicycling around Pilar, exploring the city and taking in the culture; we’ve struck up some new friendships and we are really enjoying the legendary Argentinian beef.
“We also had a chance to pay if forward at a junior golf development clinic, which was a lot of fun. I think we’ve built up some good confidence this week for the Argentine Amateur.”
The next stop on their two-week tour to South America was the Martindale Golf Club, which hosted the world’s sixth-oldest amateur championship from 8-11 November,
Burnand carded rounds of 72, 73 and 72 to finish ninth overall on one-under, and Verster finished a further shot back in 10th place with rounds of 71, 71 and 74.
The man no one could catch was Canadian Brady McKinlay, who fired rounds of 62, 67 and 66. Brady clinched a commanding 15-shot victory on 23-under-par 193.
DID YOU KNOW?
Since former Masters champion Trevor Immelman & multiple Sunshine Tour winner Ulrich van den Berg romped to victory in 1997, and Ryan Dreyer and JG Claassen was victorious in 2009, South Africa has enjoyed a run of nine top five finishes in the prestigious Copa Tailhade since 2011.
2011 – Jared Harvey & Graham van der Merwe (3rd)
2012 – Drikus Bruyns & CJ du Plessis (T-4)
2014 – Gerlou Roux & Callum Mowat (5th)
2015 – Tristen Strydom & Teaghan Gauche (5th)
2016 – Kyle McClatchie & Aubrey Beckley (5th)
2017 – Matt Saulez & Malcolm Mitchell (4th)
2018 – Luca Filippi &Therion Nel (5th)
2019 – Luca Filippi & Kyle de Beer (4th)
2023 – Jordan Burnand & Ivan Verster (4th)
*No events were held in 2013 | 2020 | 2021 due to the pandemic and SA did not compete in 2022