24 December 2020 – If there’s an alarm clock that goes off when a player turns 40, signalling it’s time to pack away the clubs, Eddie Daniel is deaf to it.
The super competitive 66-year-old built a serious case that golf has no age limit when he won the Mpumalanga Golf Union GolfRSA Race to 2021 and earned himself a start in the 2021 South African Amateur Championship.
Despite being pipped at the post by his son Gary in the final event, a runner-up finish at Carolina Golf Club catapulted the Ermelo golfer straight to the summit.
“I have to say, I was really impressed when GolfRSA came up with the Race to 2021 initiative after the troubling year we’ve had,” said Daniel, who competed in all five counting events.
“To offer the winner of the Race to 2021 in each union a spot in the SA Amateur and an additional R5 000 towards was their travel expenses, was simply inspired. A great initiative.
“All of us – Seniors, Juniors, Open and Mid-Amateur alike – lost out on so many tournaments during the lockdown, but I think it was especially tough on the youngsters who had no way of improving their rankings to qualify for our most prestigious amateur tournament.
“This series was such a fantastic idea. Firstly, we could play in our own provinces and didn’t have to travel and since all our courses adhere to the Covid-19 protocols, so we could compete safely.
“For me, the privilege of competing and the honour of winning was reward enough. I am very happy to decline the spot to pave the way for a youngster to make the field in our flagship event. Who knows, he might even win.
“Once again, I want to applaud GolfRSA for giving back to the game in such an ingenious way. I am happy to have my R5 000 paid into my club account – it will make a pretty decent dent in my subs for next year.”
A total of 10 unions participated in the Race to 2021 series.
Congratulations to winners who came through the tightly contested battles to seal their berths into the 2020 South African Amateur Championships. We look forward to welcoming you at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club from 14–19 February.
OUR GOLFRSA RACE TO 2021 WINNERS
BOLAND – Ethan Smith (Paarl Golf Club)
BORDER – Werner Potgieter (East London Golf Club)
CENTRAL GAUTENG – Sam Mckenzie (Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club)
EASTERN PROVINCE – Kyle de Beer (Port Elizabeth Golf Club)
EKURHULENI – Ryan van Velzen (Benoni Country Club)
LIMPOPO – Neil Rathmann (Polokwane Golf Club)
MPUMALANGA – Eddie Daniel (Ermelo Golf Club)
NORTH WEST – Slade Pickering (Pecanwood Golf & Country Club)
SOUTHERN CAPE – Jordan Duminy (Pinnacle Point Estate)
WESTERN PROVINCE – Cole Cruickshank (Royal Cape Golf Club)