24 September 2022 – It’s been steady rise for GolfRSA National Squad member Yurav Premlall over the last 12 months, but the 18-year-old has finally reached the No 1 spot on the GolfRSA Open Amateur Ranking.
Premlall has been one of the brightest talents on display for many years, having first garnered national attention when he qualified for, and made the cut in, the 2018 South African Open, aged just 15 years and five months.
Last year he went one better, winning the Freddie Tait Cup as the leading amateur in the 2021 SA Open – his fourth appearance in the professional event – and the young man from Glendower’s performances continued to improve as he racked up wins in the 2022 Northern Cape Open and Western Province Stroke Play.
Remarkably, Premlall has not finished outside of the top 10 this season and his solid results in international events, including a runner up in the African Amateur Stroke Play and tie-ninth in the Scottish Men’s Open saw him called up to the International Team for the Junior President’s Cup, where he won both his foursomes and fourball matches and tied his singles match after he was forced to withdraw due to injury.
We caught up with Premall after his International Team narrowly missed out on a first Junior Presidents Cup win.
GolfRSA: Congratulations on reaching No 1 in South Africa. You’ve been travelling quite a bit lately, so have you had any time to reflect on this achievement?
YP: It has been a goal of mine to get to No 1 for a long time now, so the satisfaction of everything culminating into that result over the year is something I’m very pleased with. I’ve had a chance to reflect on it and celebrate it with the people close to me. I’m excited for what is still to come.
GolfRSA: Your results speak to a greater level of consistency – what has been they change for you to get to this point?
YP: To be honest, I’ve just been more disciplined with my basics this year. So there hasn’t been a change, more that I have not been looking to change as much as I normally do. I have a tendency to look for unnecessary changes, so I’ve kept that to a minimum this year.
GolfRSA: What’s the next goal, now that you’ve reached No 1?
YP: The next goal is to turn professional. I’m not sure when that is going to happen, because I feel like there are still a few amateur events that I’d like to win, such as the SA Amateur and African Amateur.
I’m very proud of what I have achieved in my amateur career, but I do think it’s time to dive into deeper waters soon and test myself as a professional. I don’t have a set timeline on pro golf yet because things change, so it’s hard to put a time on it. I’m pretty sure that will all be revealed in due course. It’s a big decision so it’s not something I want to rush into.
GolfRSA: How would you describe the state of your game right now?
YP: I would say that my game is trending in a positive direction at this point. The scores aren’t quite showing it, but there have been improvements in many areas and now it’s about putting it all together. One area of my game that I’d like to see improve is my putting, which has been quite frustrating of late.
GolfRSA: You recently played in the Junior Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, where you bounced back from an 80 in the second round with a 65 in the final round – tell us a bit about that experience.
YP: The second round was very unfortunate in terms of the luck I had. It’s not really something I want to elaborate on, although those around me know what happened. The final round was really fun, and I feel that the score was a proper reflection of what I know I’m capable of. I am really happy with the grit I showed to go into the final round and rescue that event at one of the most prestigious courses we can play.
GolfRSA: You’re now one of the senior members of the National Squad, having come up through the ranks. Do you feel like one of the leaders in a period where there seems to be a changing of the guard?
YP: It’s definitely different because I’m no longer the young guy that everyone has to micro-manage. GolfRSA is definitely doing the right thing with the National Squad by putting younger players in and giving them the opportunity to develop themselves sooner and learn from older guys like myself. I learned so much from the experienced guys when I first started out in the squad, so I guess it’s my turn to set the right example for them. I’m excited to see how the Squad continues to grow and get impressive results.
GolfRSA: These days, golfers need to have a solid team around them. Who do you work with?
YP: My coaches are Grant Veenstra and Kevin Edwards and they have done an excellent job over the past few years. My trainer is Ian Corbett, and I am grateful to play with the best clubs in the business, provided by TaylorMade UK.
GolfRSA: What comes next for you this year?
YP: I finally earned my national colours and I’ll be competing in Argentina with one of my fellow GolfRSA National Squad team-mates, Jono Broomhead. We will be competing in the Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup and the Argentine Stroke Play Championship in November.
Any time you get to wear the green blazer and represent South Africa is special and we want to make this opportunity count.