Lewin reigns supreme in Nomads SA U-19 Match Play

Pearce Lewin from Western Province claimed his first GolfRSA national title with a 3 & 2 win the 36-hole final of the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Match Play Championship at Pecanwood Golf & Country Club; credit GolfRSA.

3 April 2023 – Steenberg’s Pearce Lewin claimed his a maiden GolfRSA national junior title after triumphing over Charl Barnard in a strong showing in the Nomads SA Boys Under-19 Match Play Championship at Pecanwood Golf and Country Club.

“All credit to Charl, because he played really well and barely missed a putt;” a delighted Lewin said after making it five wins out of five with a 3 & 2 win in the 36-hole final.

“Really happy with this win. “I’ve worked really hard on my mental game with Theo Bezuidenhout from BVP Sport Psychology and with my coaches Etienne Olivier and Terence Boardman at EOGA Academy over the last year. It’s nice to be rewarded for all the hours I put into my game.”

Lewin was among the favourites at the start of the week after his runner-up finish in the Nomads South African Junior Invitational at Rondebosch Golf Club in March.

Making his debut in this event, the 17-year-old Western Province junior was among the leaders in the 72-hole stroke play qualifier after firing rounds of 65 and 66, but he backpedalled with a 79 in the third. He rallied with solid closing 70 to finish seventh overall to secure his spot in the top 32 that advanced to the match play.

He had a tough fight on his hands against his first two opponents, Pecanwood’s Bryan Newman in round one and Serengeti’s Jonathan Wilsenach in round two, but once he got his nose in front, Lewin beat both players 1-up to advance. After routing Limpopo’s Amicus de Beer 3 & 2 to make the top four, he downed Pecanwood’s last hope, Luc Gavagnin, 2-up to reach the 36-hole against Gauteng North’s Barnard.

The Centurion junior had knocked out Nelis de Bruin 3 & 2 and Pieter Coetzee 4 & 2, GolfRSA National Squad member Jordan Wessels 4 & 2 and North West Open winner Keagan Crosbie 4 & 3 en route to the final.

Pearce Lewin from Western Province in action during the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Championship at Pecanwood Golf & Country Club; credit GolfRSA.

The final match was tightly contested over the first 18 holes. “Every time Charl made a birdie, I responded with one, and vice versa. We were all square after 18 and I knew I would need to stay patient if I wanted to win,” Lewin said.

Lewin got the early edge with a birdie on the 22nd hole (par-4 fourth) and eagle at the 23rd (par-5 fifth). Both players birdied the 26th hole, and Barnard got one back with a birdie at the 28th (par-5 10th). “I birdied the 12th (30th hole) to go 2-up again, and Charl birdied the next hole, but then he dropped a shot on the 14th (32nd). I sunk a great putt on the 16th (34th) to win.

“I didn’t take any unnecessary risks; I opted for 3-woods off the tee on some holes instead of driver to make sure I put myself in a good position and I hit my irons really well. I had a couple of putts in both rounds that burnt the edge, but overall the putter behaved well.

“We both played really well and shot a couple under par in both rounds. He was a tough opponent, and it was a great contest. I am really happy that I got it done. and now I just want to continue to play these big events and see where it will take me.”