SA Juniors primed for Junior Golf World Cup challenge
Four of the country’s top junior golfers are chomping at the bit to fly the flag for South Africa at the TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup 2013, supported by JAL, in Toyota City, Aichi-Prefecture in Japan next week.
The South African team is the only African country that qualified for the 21st edition of this prestigious event and will line up against 11 other countries from five continents at the Chukyo Golf Club’s Ishino Course from 18-21 June.
Thriston Lawrence from Mpumalanga, James du Preez and Tristen Strydom from Gauteng North and Ekurhuleni’s Jason Froneman secured the spot in the esteemed field for South Africa by way of a 58-shot victory over Zimbabwe in the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge qualifier, played at Le Touessrok in Mauritius this April.
SA coach and manager Llewellyn van Leeuwen declared the team primed and ready for the challenge ahead of their departure for Japan today.
The Tuksgolf Club and Academies head coach and technical director was appointed by the South African Golf Association to travel with all the South African teams this year and accompanied the team to Mauritius.
Van Leeuwen says he has had the opportunity to work with the players individually and as a unit and has a lot of confidence in their ability.
“I’ve attended this event with the South African teams for the last two years and I think, in terms of strategy, planning and course management, that it will be to our advantage that I know the course pretty well,” he said.
“In contrast to the previous two years, it certainly helps that I know the players and we have done a lot of work together, both in Mauritius and at home. They have all worked hard in preparation for the event and they are very keen to bring the trophy home for a second time.”
Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen and Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel were members of the only South African team to taste victory in the event in 2001.
Although the victorious All-Africa Junior champions hope to emulate their compatriots, they know they will face stiff competition in their quest to bring the trophy to home soil a second time.
“Japan has won this event three times and you can always expect the host nation to put in a challenging performance,” Van Leeuwen said.
“The defending champions Australia has a strong line-up and something to prove, and although the United States hasn’t won the tournament since 2005, they are seven-time title holders and always a team to keep your eye on.”
Other entries include Asian teams Chinese Taipei and Korea, the North American teams Costa Rica and Mexico, European nations Germany and Sweden, while Chile and Venezuela will chasing South America’s first victory in the event.
Like South Africa, Sweden and Korea also enjoyed one victory in the event.
Each country will field a four-man team, however only three scores will count towards the team total in each round of in the 72-hole event.
The TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup is the only junior golf championship in the world where the winning nations qualify to compete for the world championship title. Nearly 60 national teams participated in the regional qualifying events held on six continents.
In addition Oosthuizen and Schwartzel, Masters Champion Trevor Immelman was also a former participant in this event. Other notable former participants include Brendon de Jonge from Zimbabwe, Henrik Stenson from Sweden, Americans Anthony Kim, Kyle Stanley and Hunter Mahan, Ryuji Imada from Japan, Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, Justin Rose from England and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas.
TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup 2013 – Teams and participants
Australia – Lucas Herbert; Ricky Kato; Antonio Murdaca; Ryan Ruffels
Chile – Claudio Correa; Guillermo Pereira; Rodrigo Rivas; Lucas Rosso
Chinese Taipei – Han-Ting Chiu; Chieh-Po Lee; Chang-Heng Lin; Sung-I Yu
Costa Rica – Roberto Barrantes; Alberto Hernandez; Jose Mendez; Theo Poncon
Germany – Maximilian Boegel; Jonas Liebich; Maximilian Mehles; Marcel Ohorn
Japan – Yamato Ebina; Kazuki Higa; Naoya Kaneko; Soma Kitamura
Korea – Yun Sung Ho; Nam Seung Hui; Seo Yoseop Park; Chan Young
Mexico – Luis Gerardo; Garza Emilio; Maurer Alvaro Ortiz; Aaron Terrazas
South Africa – James Du Preez; Jason Froneman; Thriston Lawrence; Tristen Strydom
Sweden – Tobias Eden; Marcus Kinhult; Hannes Ronneblad; Victor Tarnstrom
United States – Ben Balter; Cameron Champ; Scott Scheffler; Adam Wood
Venezuela – Jorge Garcia; Gustavo Leon; Gustavo Morantes; George Trujillo