Roux to lead SA Mid-Amateur team in France
South Africa’s top ranked mid-amateur Gerlou Roux has accomplished a long-term goal with his selection to the four-man squad for the prestigious International Team Mid-Amateur Championship near Bordeaux, France in July.
Roux will line up alongside Josef Fourie from Free State, Steve Williams from Central Gauteng and fellow Western Province player Elton James, who are respectively ranked second, third and fifth on the South African Golf Association (SAGA) Mid-Amateur rankings.
The SA squad will compete against France, Italy, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and a host of local clubs in the top international team competition at Golf Du Medoc Resort from 17-19 July.
Roux rose to the number two spot in the SAGA Open Amateur rankings last year and represented South Africa in numerous international events, including the World Amateur Team Championship in 2014 and the Leopard Trophy and Southern Cross Invitational this year.
However, the 38-year-old Bellville amateur was devastated when he failed to qualify for the 2014 Mid-Amateur team to France as he didn’t play the requisite number of tournaments.
Although Roux has maintained a top 10 ranking on the Open Amateur circuit this year, he poured most of his energy into the mid-amateur events and achieved his goal with dogged determination.
The former professional reeled in four successive provincial titles, rose to the number one spot and sealed his selection with victory in the SA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Championship in May.
“My biggest goal was to become the first amateur to achieve national colours on Open Amateur and Mid-Amateur level in one season and this is really is a dream come true for me,” he said.
“Nothing beats the feeling when you put on the green and gold and you tee up for your country.”
The format of the International Team Mid-Amateur Championship will see the field compete in an 18-hole stroke play qualifier. The top three scores from each country will count towards the team’s total and the teams will then be seeded into two groups of eight.
The teams will play two matches on day two and one match on the final day. Matches consist of two singles and one foursomes matches where a total of three points are available.
Winners play winners and losers play losers until the finishing positions are finalised.
The SA team will also play a two-day Test against France on 15 and 16 July before the main event.
Roux, a stalwart for Western Province in the Premier and Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincials over the last couple of years, believes the team’s collective experience will see them do well in the championship.
“We are all regular inter-provincial competitors and we know how to handle pressure,” he said.
“Josef recently won the Gauteng North Mid-Amateur Open and Elton has had three runner-up finishes in his last four starts. Steve, a two-time champion last season, has fully recovered from his wrist injury and is just as hungry to get back to the top level.
“We will get a lot of guidance from Josef, who was the main point scorer in France last year. The competition is bound to be tough, but we are all very competitive and we will definitely go full throttle to deliver a solid performance.”
South African Golf Association president Gerhard Conradie will accompany the team.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.