SA juniors geared for All-Africa defence
The South African quartet hunting the country’s 18th consecutive title in the prestigious All-Africa Junior Golf Championships are primed for action to start at Lusaka Golf Club on Tuesday.
National coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen was impressed with how Keegan de Lange from Gauteng North, Boland’s Herman Loubser and Central Gauteng pair Marco Steyn and Dylan Naidoo handled themselves during the practice round of regular Sunshine Tour stop.
“I really like the way this team plays golf,” said Tuksgolf Club and Academies head coach and technical director.
“They played the course the way it was designed to be played. They are all great off the tee and give themselves enough birdie chances with their irons and I was very impressed by their short game skills.”
Van Leeuwen also likes the team’s spirit.
“They have a fantastic and very real team spirit,” he said. “They do everything together, whether it is hitting the gym, warm up and stretches, tactical planning and warm down. Everything is done as a team and I believe that will be their strength this week.”
The national coach believes a tactical approach and course management will be key to low scoring, and winning, this week.
“The layout is very tight and your tactical play from tee to green has to be on point,” he said.
“The wind feels like it’s always across, so the ability to shape your iron shots into the breeze will be a huge advantage. I believe the competition this week will come down to a short game contest after the tees shots.
“There are a lot of very talented youngsters here this week and I think it’s going to be very exciting to watch this team in action against the best in Africa.”
South Africa claimed a 35-stroke victory at Chainama Hills Golf Club last year and will be gunning for glory again, but as always, they can expect some tough opposition.
Zimbabwe will be looking to go one better this year.
The team is captained by Jack Allard, who returns for duty alongside Kieran Vincent and David Amm, as well as newcomer Bekithemba Ndlovu.
Meanwhile skipper Daniel Baguma from Uganda will hope to lead Richard Baguma, Hassan Kiyemba and Herman Mutebi to victory and follow in the footsteps of their senior side that edged out South Africa for the Africa Zone VI title last month.
The SA Junior Team taking up South Africa’s title defence in the All-Africa Junior Golf Championships in Zambia; credit SAGA. (From left to right Marco Steyn, Dylan Naidoo, Keegan de Lange and Herman Loubser)
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.