Galant and Southern Cape come up trumps at Fish River

Go on, pick up a pen and write down the name Tristan Galant, because when this talented 11-year-old Western Province golfer lands his first pro title, you will want to say you knew when he lifted the Nomads South African Under-13 Championship title in 2013 he would become a champion.

Gauteng’s Cole Stevens set the early target with an opening 73 in blustery conditions at the Fish River Sun Country Club, and Galant finished two off the pace with a two over 75. The field battled an even stronger South-Westerly wind in the second round, but the Belhar golfer navigated the Gary Player design in 73 blows to leapfrog Stevens for the lead.

Although Galant had a little breathing space with a three shot lead, the sunny weather in the final round inspired the chasing pack to play catch-up, but the youngster stood his ground.

After erasing a bogey at the second with birdie at the third, he collected two more birdies at the fifth and sixth. He traded a pair of birdies for a pair of bogeys around the turn, but settled down at the 13th and romped home with six pars for a two-under-par 71.

Galant’s winning score of even-par 219 left him four shots clear of Randpark’s Alex van der Merwe, who closed with a 70.

Christiaan Burke from Vaal de Grace carded a 70 to finish third on 225, with Jordon Duminy from Mossel Bay and Ebotse’s Jayden Schaper tied for fourth on seven over after signing for 70 and 74 respectively.

Having grown up in a serious golfing environment with his father a coach and his uncle, Mervyn Galant, a former professional, Galant only showed interest in the game at the age of seven.

His dad, SAGDB coach Martin Galant, enrolled him with other learners in the SAGDB prpgramme and the young golfer has made amazing strides since, including his selection to the Western Province Under-12 Inter-Provincial team for the last two years.

“My dad taught me everything I know and I’m really proud to be holding the trophy today, because this is for him and for me,” the Erica Primary School learner said. “He coaches a lot of children in the SAGDB programme but he is always fair, and that’s why I’m proud to win for him.

“The SAGDB and Western Province Golf Union also give me a lot of opportunities to improve and compete. I’m very thankful for their support.”

Southern Cape replaced Central Gauteng, who led for the first two rounds, as the surprise winners in the team competition.

The team of Duminy, Martin Vorster, Ben van Wyk, James Murray and Luhan Bester combined for a final round 363 to beat Ekuhuleni by 11 shots with a total score of 1175.

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