31 August 2023 – Ekurhuleni’s Jordan Burnand and Ivan Verster from Southern Cape will aim to continue South Africa’s proud legacy when the pair line up for the country in two world-class international events in Argentina this November.
Burnand and Verster, respectively third and fourth in the current GolfRSA Open Amateur rankings, will compete in the Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup at Los Lagartos Country Club from 2-5 November.
Following the prestigious international Teams Tournament, it’s each man for himself in the Argentine Amateur Championship. The world’s sixth-oldest amateur championships will be staged at the Martindale Golf Club from 8-11 November.
GolfRSA CEO Grant Hepburn applauded the South African Golf Association’s selection and said the GolfRSA National Squad duo deserved the honour of representing South Africa on the world stage.
“These two world-class events are highly favoured by the world’s top amateurs. Jordan and Ivan have shown commitment, determination and a healthy dose of competitive spirit to rise through the ranks this year, and these qualities will serve them well in Argentina,” Hepburn said.
Burnand won the Border Stroke Play Championship and Verster doubled up with victories in the Limpopo Stroke Play Championship and Southern Cape Open, and both amateurs have consistently produced top five results on the local circuit in 2023. Burnand also performed well during the GolfRSA National Squad tour to the United Kingdom in June, with his best result a fourth-place finish in the Scottish Men’s Open Championship.
“Competing in Argentina represents fantastic platform for these two talented golfers to expand their experience on the international stage and we are delighted that Jordan and Ivan have been given the opportunity to test themselves against top international competitors,” Hepburn said.
South Africa has a proud history in the high-rated Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup, which comprises a team event and an individual competition. The country enjoyed two victories and a string of top five finishes in the last 14 years.
Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman and Ulrich van den Berg claimed South Africa’s first success in 1999, and Ryan Dreyer and JG Claassen was victorious in 2009.
Jared Harvey and Graham van der Merwe rallied for a third-place finish in 2011, and Drikus Bruyns partnered CJ du Plessis to joint fourth in 2012.
Gerlou Roux and Callum Mowat finished fifth in 2014, as did Tristen Strydom and Teaghan Gauche a year later, and Kyle McClatchie and Aubrey Beckley in 2016.
Matt Saulez and Malcolm Mitchell combined for fourth place in 2018, and recent Sunshine Tour winner Luca Filippi and former SA Amateur champion Kyle de Beer followed suit in 2019.
“We have always supported these two top international events, but we were unable to participate since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions,” said South African Golf Association President Henk Smith.
“It is fantastic that we are once again able to send two of our top performing amateurs to these events in Argentina and we are delighted to award Ivan his senior national colours. They have both made significant strides this season and are deserving candidates to join the world-class fields heading to Argentina.”
New cap Verster was inducted into the GolfRSA National Squad this year and the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member is looking forward to the prospect of representing South Africa for the first time.
“Every athlete dream of representing his country and I am very proud and privileged to have been given the honour of wearing the green and gold in Argentina,” the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member said. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to gain experience on the international stage, having seen how much Jordan and the other squad members benefitted from the UK Tour. We hope to do South Africa proud and learn a lot from the experience.”