29 January 2019 – Calvin Maia shot 67 to win the prestigious Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series tournament at Oubaai on Sunday.
By winning the title, the 18-year-old Kenako Golf Academy boarder qualifies for the South Regional Final of the #BridgeJuniorSeries in April, where the ultimate prize is an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the glittering Junior North and South Championship at Pinehurst, USA in July this year.
An eagle 2 on the tough par-four 5th hole was the highlight for Maia, who plays out of Kingswood Golf Estate in George.
“To be honest, hole 5 was in my head even before I teed off, because it’s a tough tee shot with out of bounds left and right,” said Maia. “But I had just come off a birdie at four, which gave me a little bit more confidence to pull out the driver and not worry about the outcome.
“My drive was just off the fairway and my objective with my second shot was to leave myself a uphill putt, however it pitched on the green and went in.”
The wind came up during the second nine, but Maia managed to break away from the pack with three birdies in a row on 12, 13 and 14. He dropped 17 and 18, but still signed for a sparkling five-under, which was too good for the strong chasing pack that featured reigning East of Ireland Amateur champion and the number 2 ranked junior in SA.
Maia has a very positive approach to dealing with the inevitable bad breaks golf throws his way.
“I try keep as calm as possible when I get unlucky breaks, because it happens to everyone, and if you had to count your lucky breaks and your unlucky ones they will probably even out,” he said.
“And I really enjoy music so also keep calm by singing to myself.”
The #BridgeJuniorSeries launched in July 2017 with 16 tournaments countrywide featuring Under-13 and Under-19 divisions for boys and girls.
Endorsed by GolfRSA, the series is managed by Peter Little of the South African Golf Development Board.
“To shoot 67 on a windy day at Oubaai says a lot about the quality of Calvin’s technique and his mental strength,” says Paul Stewart, Executive Director at Bridge Fund Managers. “He is a worthy winner and we look forward to Calvin competing against a very strong field at the regional finals in April.”
The Under-13 A-Division saw 11-year-old twin brothers Nicolas and Andries van der Vyver shoot matching 77s, with Nicolas winning on a count out.
For more information, visit juniorseries.bridgefm.co.za.
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