22 December – We shine the spotlight on Dimension Data Junior Open Under-15 Challenge champion Jack Buchanan this December.
The 14-year-old Western Province junior displayed nerves of steel as he holed a monster putt at the first extra hole on the Montagu Course to defeat Michael Ferreira in a sudden-death play-off for his first national victory at Fancourt. We caught up with the Milnerton golfer during the South African Under-19 Inter-Provincial at Oubaai Hotel, Golf and Spa to find out more about his journey in golf and his goals for the future.
FULL NAME: Jack John Buchanan
BORN: 20 January 2005
RESIDES: Atlantic Beach Links
ATTACHMENT: Milnerton Golf Club
SCHOOL: Rondebosch Boys High School
Atlantic Beach Junior Club Champion 2017 and 2018 and Men’s Club Champion 2019
I had an albatross on the 15th hole at Atlantic Beach during the 1st round of Junior Club Champs
I tied the unofficial course record at Buchanan Castle in Scotland with a 63
Winning the Dimension Data Junior Open Under-15 Challenge in 2019
Bradshaw Trophy winners in 2019 for Milnerton Golf Club
TELL US FIVE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW
I play all sport right handed but play football left-footed
I play pretty much every sport that there is
I HATE flying. I can’t stand it, especially when you fly over water. I can’t stop thinking that something will go wrong and we will go down
I dislike ALL vegetables but love all fruit
I beat a professional golfer in a hacky sack competition – the first ‘kid’ to beat him!
STILL ON MY BUCKET LIST
I’ve always wanted to go to Venice, to see what it’s like to travel around in a boat
WHERE AND WHEN DID THE GOLF BUG BITE?
I would always go on the cart with my dad when he played. When I got bored watching him, my mum would take me around the course and let me hit a few shots. Between my parents, they got me started on my golfing journey.
WHAT WERE YOU HOPING TO ACHIEVE IN 2019?
I set myself some goals, and I achieved most of them. I got off to a good start when I made the cut in the Western Province Amateur. I won on the national junior circuit at Fancourt, which was one of my goals. I also set a goal to win three Juniors Open in the Western Province Junior circuit, but only won one event. I also wanted to finish the season top five Western Province Junior Order of Merit and achieved that.
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS AND WHY?
Tiger Woods, for sure. He has the best mental game of anyone I’ve ever watched. The way he came back and to win the Masters again was just unbelievable. Not very many people could imagine that he would even play again.
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESS OF YOUR GAME?
The strength of my game is that I hit a lot of fairways, but the weakness is not holing enough putts.
BEST OR WORST TRAVEL EXPERIENCE?
My worst travel experience was flying back from The Open last year. We had booked our flights back to Cape Town the day before a Western Province tournament, but Emirates left my golf clubs in Dubai, so I missed the tournament.
TOURNAMENT OR MAJOR YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO WIN
WHAT SONG WOULD THEY PLAY FOR YOU AT THE FIRST TEE?
Uptown Funk – that was my first golf tour song.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE HOME-COOKED MEAL?
My mom’s macaroni and cheese!
THREE MUST-HAVE ITEMS IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON AN ISLAND?
Blue berries, Nutella and my cell-phone.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD
WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING YOU’VE EVER EATEN?
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?
A fireman, but over the years the fire hose was replaced with golf clubs.
WHAT WOULD YOU ASK FOR IF YOU WERE GRANTED THREE WISHES?
To live in Miami, to always be happy and 100 more wishes.
TWO THINGS YOU’RE REALLY GOOD AT
Table tennis and backseat driving.
WHO WOULD BE IN YOUR DREAM PAIRING?
I’ve always wanted to play with Rory, so it would have to be him.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Losing what I have.
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO CLUB AND WHY?
My 3-iron. I love it. I can hit it low, high, left to right or right to left…it’s the one club I trust completely.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUNGSTERS JUST STARTING THE GAME?
Practice, practice, practice. Don’t mess around on the golf course with our friends. Practice with purpose. And be patient with yourself, because it’ll pay off one day.