Rebula aiming for SA Boys hat-trick

Jovan Rebula will be looking to extend his winning record of SA Boys titles when the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Championship tees off at Umhlali Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.

South Africa’s top ranked junior won the Nomads SA Boys U-15 at Somerset West Golf Club in 2012 and claimed the U-17 edition at Mount Edgecombe Country Club last year. This year, Rebula certainly has the form to achieve a rare hat-trick.

The 16-year-old Southern Cape golfer claimed his first title of the season at the Nomads Coastal Order of Merit tournament at Royal Durban in January.

He followed with individual victories in the Sanlam SA Amateur Stroke Play Qualifier at Hermanus Golf Club and the Curro SA Junior International at Langebaan Country Club this month.

The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member is taking nothing for granted, though.

“Form and rank doesn’t matter much when every junior in the field at Umhlali will be gunning for this title,” Rebula said.

“The SA Boys Championships are the top tournaments on our junior calendar. For us, it rates right up there with the SA Amateur and SA Stroke Play.

“The other top ranked guys are also coming into this tournament in great form, so I am keeping my expectations realistic. It would definitely be a great achievement for me to win all three SA Boys stroke play titles, but I will have to work very hard at it.”

Rebula’s closest challengers are Kyle McClatchie, Hennie du Plessis and Altin van der Merwe.

Although the quartet will combine for South Africa at the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge in a few weeks, the trio have good reason to upstage the Rebula at Umhlali.

Ekurhuleni’s McClatchie lost the SA Boys U-15 title run to Rebula in 2012 and last year, the George golfer thwarted a bid by Du Plessis from Limpopo to triumph in the SA Boys U-17 Championship.

Van der Merwe from the Western Province also has an axe to grind after Rebula edged him out for the Curro SA Junior International.

Paul Boshoff, Gauteng North Stroke Play champion Keegan de Lange, David Meyers and Tristen Strydom are among the other top ranked juniors who will join the action in Umhlali.

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