Ekurhuleni seals SA U-13 Champs hat-trick

Ekurhuleni clinched their third successive Nomads SA Under-13 Championship title in formidable fashion at Killarney Country Club on Thursday.

The six-strong side claimed a roaring 53 stroke victory on 1161, while North West edged out Gauteng North by two strokes to finish in second on 1214.

The defending champions sounded an ominous warning to the field when they opened with 389.

Having slept on a 17 shot lead, Ekurhuleni combined for 393 in the second round to stretch their overnight advantage to 43 strokes.

Serengeti’s Christopher Bagnall carded 76 to put Ekurhuleni on the attack in the final round.

His effort was brilliantly supported by a 77 from Zamokuhle Nxasana and an 81 from Kiera Floyd and rookies Nash de Klerk and Hunter Walker made it three-in-a-row for the side when they added respective rounds of 78 and 81 for a final round total of 379.

The team’s third rookie, Jonathan Wilsenach, signed for a non-counting 84.

“I am absolutely bursting with pride right now,” gushed manager Jack Turton. “We didn’t just won three on the trot, but we also increased our winning margin from last year by 10 strokes. That is a phenomenal achievement for this young team.

“This team knew there was pressure on them coming into the week, but they took it in their stride. All three rounds was an incredible team effort, with six players who showed fantastic depth of character and who played for each other.

“As a manager, you can’t hit the shots for them; you can only ask for their best and I couldn’t have hoped for greater commitment. Whenever one player had a bad round, five others stood up in his place. In the end we won the championship, four players on our team finished in the top 10 and all of them finished in the top 30.

“I congratulate each and every player on a job well done and I hope their achievement will fire up our U-19 team to go the distance as well in the SA Junior Inter-Provincial in December.”

While Ekurhuleni celebrated their hat-trick in the Team Competition, Central Gauteng’s Amilkar Bhana denied the team a third double celebration as he powered to victory in the Individual Competition.

The 11-year-old from Sandton, who won the Malaysian Junior Open two years ago and took third in the 10-11 age category at the US Kids European Championship in Scotland last year, showed his mettle when he hit the front with a 69 in the second round.

Bhana held his nerve in the final round to close with an even-par 72 to beat Nxasana by six strokes on a winning total of even-par 216.

“This was an amazing week and I really had the best time,” said the Crawford learner.

“Hopefully I make the team next year so I can come back to defend my title. It was awesome to compete with so many kids my own age and I made a lot of new friends.

“I think I won in the end because of my consistency during the tournament and because I had a lot of fun out there. I want to thank my team mates for a great week and our manager, Andy Truluck, who is like our dad away from home. And I would also want to thank my principal at Crawford, Mr Ewen, for always giving me such amazing support.”

1161 Ekurhuleni 389 379 393
1214 North West 421 403 390
1216 Gauteng North 413 403 400
1235 Western Province 421 398 416
1244 Central Gauteng 406 405 433
1251 Free State 437 402 412
1275 Southern Cape 444 415 416
1287 Border 440 432 415
1333 Boland Golf 469 425 439
1333 Northern Cape 465 441 427
1443 Mpumalanga 499 466 478
1492 Limpopo Golf 513 484 495

216 Amilkar Bhana 75 69 72
224 Zamokuhle Nxasana 75 72 77
227 Christopher Bagnall 78 73 76
228 Rorisang Nkosi 87 71 70
231 Nash de Klerk 78 75 78
233 Franco Gericke 78 75 80
234 Ivan Verster 77 76 81; Kiera Floyd 77 76 81; Hannes Strooh 74 75 85
235 Lyle Roche Pedro 84 76 75
236 Matthew Keagan Dennis 79 79 78
239 Corne Pieters 86 79 74; Gabrielle Venter 84 71 84
240 George Delport 86 77 77
241 Jaydon Liddell 83 80 78
242 Cameron Gray 82 78 82; Ockert Brits 80 83 79
243 Nehan Robbetze 85 81 77
244 Jere Brits 86 80 78; Divan Mostert 84 81 79

PHOTO – Ekurhuleni celebrate their third Nomads SA U-13 Championship victory (Left to right – Hunter Walker, Zamokuhle Nxasana, Nash de Klerk, Kiera Floyd, Jonathan Wilsenach and Christopher Bagnall); credit Ernest Blignault

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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