Open season at SA Challenge Cup

GolfRSA Juniors

12 May 2018 – The GolfRSA Juniors are determined to chase down a fourth SA Challenge Cup title, but the defending champions will face strong opposition in the 16th edition of the team event at Irene Country Club from 14-18 May.

South Africa’s seventh ranked junior Martin Vorster returns for duty alongside fellow Southern Cape junior Bradley de Beer in the GolfRSA Juniors team.

Vorster, seventh in the SAGA Junior standings, won the Reply Italian U-16 and the Nomads SA Boys U-15 Championships last year and took third in the international African Amateur Championship at Glendower in February.

De Beer, ranked eighth, enjoyed three top five finishes in 2017 and his best performances this season were top 20s in the Pro Shop Amateur and Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play Championships.

Christiaan Burke from North West, Ekurhuleni trio Casey Jarvis, Yurav Premlall and Saul Moss, Kian Rose from Central Gauteng and Southern Cape junior Ben van Wyk round out the team.

Burke tied for sixth in the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play Championship and reached the third round of the Sanlam SA Amateur, while Nomads SA Boys U-15 champion Jarvis took second in the Northern Cape Open and finished fourth at the recent Kwazulu-Natal Stroke Play.

Nomads SA Boys U-15 runner-up Premlall tied for an impressive 13th in his SA Stroke Play Championship debut and Moss notched a top 25 finish in Kwazulu-Natal last weekend.

Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series winner Rose enjoyed top 20 finishes in the first two Nomads National Order of Merit events, while Van Wyk hopes to follow in the footsteps of older brother Alex, who was a member of the victorious GolfRSA team in 2017.

“Gauteng North won in 2016 and they are probably the biggest threat,” said Vorster. “They have the home course advantage this year and they will come at us with everything they’ve got.

“Central Gauteng and Western Province are always strong, and the University Sport South Africa (USSA) team has a lot of experience with guys like Altin van der Merwe, Calvin Ferreira, Jason Broomhead and Reece Haickney, who captained our Junior side in last year’s tournament.

“The GolfRSA Presidents Team is definitely the strongest team since they began competing in the SA Challenge Cup since 2013. I think this team is the dark horse in this year’s tournament. The competition will be tough. We’ll have to go out strong in the foursomes and then back it up with good results in the singles, but I’m very confident in our ability to defend the title.”

Experienced campaigners Kifentsi Nukeri, Stals Swart and Antoine Sale will anchor the Gauteng North team alongside Armand van Graan, Kelso Hannay, Anthony Usmar, Wessel Duvenhage and Gianna Pera.

Five-time champions Central Gauteng are fielding 2018 Boland Open champion Karabo and Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series winner Shaun Jones, Samual McKenzie, Keelan van Wyk, Keaton Slatter, Steven le Roux and Haydn Driver.

Luca Filippi, coming off a runner-up finish in the Western Province Stroke Play and Match play and victory in the KwaZulu-Natal Stroke Play, will lead the Western Province team into battle. The rest of the team includes Bridge Fund Junior Series winners Sam Simpson and Ayden Senger, Freddie Spencer, who won the season’s first Nomads National Order of Merit event, Neswill Croy, Sean Howell, Christiaan Basson and Weyers Janse van Rensburg.

The GolfRSA Presidents Team will have the experience of Aneurin Gounden, Siya Mwandla, Lwazi Gqira and Daniel Nduva, one of Kenya’s top ranked amateurs, supported by the youthful exuberance of rising talents Carl Mwale, Jordan Duminy, Kieron van Wyk and Nikhil Gopal, another Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series champion.

Gounden is back for a third year, while Mwandla and Gqira make a second appearance for the GolfRSA Presidents team. Meanwhile Croy is lining up in his fourth SA Challenge Cup, having represented the GolfRSA Presidents Team for three years. Mokoena, Stevens and Premlall also graduated the team after their debut at Atlantic Beach last year.

Broomhead and Van der Merwe are the only two holdovers from last year’s USSA Team. Reece Haickney, Calvin Ferreira, Gregg Gilson, Shaun Bernstein, Philip Swanepoel and Leiben Sheard complete their line-up.

The defending champions will face the host union on day one, Central Gauteng goes up against USSA and Western Province take on the GolfRSA Presidents Cup team.

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.