SA junior quintet aim for international glory

Inspired to greatness by the country’s two Ladies Tour champions Lee-Anne Pace and Ashleigh Simon, five of South Africa’s top ranked junior golfers are geared for glory in three top international events in Sweden, England and Germany this August.

“Watching Lee-Anne and Ashleigh tee it up in this week’s British Womens Open is so inspiring,” said the country’s leading junior, Bianca Theron.

“Ashleigh was South Africa’s most successful amateur in recent years and has won twice in Europe, while Lee-Anne just got back the number one spot in the LET rankings with two victories this season. “Over the last couple of years the boys have a lot of idols to look up to, like Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen. It’s just great for us junior girls to have two players who are making their mark in Europe to inspire us to bigger things.”

The 16-year-old Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation player will be competing in the Annika Invitational Europe in Sweden and the Girls’ British Amateur Open Championship in England alongside number two ranked Magda Kruger.

Cara Gorlei, Ji Sun Kang and Michaela Fletcher, respectively ranked third, fourth and sixth on the Womens Golf South Africa’s Junior Rankings will line up in the World Junior Golf Series – RB German Junior in Germany.

Womens Golf South Africa president Cynthia Rayner said the five juniors are a credit to South Africa and will aspire to do the country proud.

“We were delighted to learn that Bianca and Magda were awarded spots in the field for the Girls’ British Amateur Open Championship and it is a measure of the high standard of junior golf in this country that our players received invitations to compete in the Annika Invitational Europe and the RB German Junior,” Rayner said.

“These three events carry valuable amateur world ranking points and rank among the most prestigious on the global junior golf calendar and our players are determined to make the most of these opportunities.”

Rayner said that giving the leading junior golfers the chance to compete in top international events is essential to their development as players.

“Womens Golf South Africa has always been dedicated to give our senior and junior players every opportunity possible to campaign on the international stage,” she said.

“It is imperative to their development to compete against top ranked players from other countries, to learn to deal with the rigours of travelling and to gain competitive experience in conditions and on courses dissimilar to what they are used to South Africa.

“These experiences helps them to improve their form and to become more mature, well-rounded players.”

At fourth, Theron is also the highest ranked junior on the WGSA senior rankings. The Devonvale golfer was thrilled with her selection.

“Magda and I are both very excited about this trip to Sweden and England,” Theron said.

“It is such an honour to represent South Africa internationally and we are really thankful to the WGSA for giving us the chance to test ourselves on the world stage. The only way to improve is through experience and by testing yourself against the best. The WGSA are always looking for ways to help us achieve improvement. We will definitely give these events our best effort.”

The RB German Junior will be played at the Golfclub Heddesheim from 6-8 August, the Annika Invitational Europe tees off from 7-9 August at Landskrona Golf Club and Fairhaven Golf Club in Lytham and St Annes will host the Girls’ British Amateur Open Championship from 12-16 August.

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