SA juniors sparkle at Italian Championship

Riccardo Leo secured a fifth victory for Italy in the Reply Italian International Under-16 Championship, but Herman Loubser, Luke Mayo and Luca Filippi gave South African golf fans cause for celebration with a hat-trick of top 10 finishes in the ninth edition at Golf Club Bielle in Italy.

Loubser from Boland finished fourth on one-under-par 291, while Mayo from KwaZulu-Natal and Western Province’s Filippi tied for seventh on 294.

Loubser from Theewaterskloof carded rounds of 74, 75, 69 and 73, Mayo from Mount Edgecombe returned rounds of 72, 74, 75 and 73 and Filippi from Milnerton scored 74, 76, 74 and 70.

This marks the first time that three South African juniors finished in the top 10 since the Italian International Under-16 Championship launched in 2007.

“It really is a remarkable accomplishment,” said South African Golf Association Golf Integration Manager and team manager, Eden Thompson.

“Haydn Porteous won this event in 2008, Tristen Strydom tied for second in 2011 and Haydn, Yubin Yung and Kyle McClatchie finished joint third in 2008, 2007 and 2013 respectively.

“Over the last eight years, we have had four pairs who finished in the top 10, but this is the first time three of our juniors managed this rare feat.”

Thompson said the trio were determined to better their debut performances in 2014 and delivered on their promise.

“Luca tied for 11th last year, but Herman and Luke both missed the cut. They returned with great attitudes and a lot of resolve. The guys all knuckled down in the final round and tried to get everything from the course, even if at times, it was to their own detriment.

“Herman, Luke, Luca and our fourth player, Wilco Nienaber, displayed just fantastic camaraderie and sportsmanship and although Wilco missed the cut in his first start here in Italy, he was unwavering in his support in the third round and even carried Herman’s bag in the final round.

“All four players represented South Africa, SAGA and their families with distinction and I congratulate them on their achievement.”

Leo carded rounds of 70, 71, 72 and 72 and claimed a four stroke victory over Viktor Hagborg-Asp from Sweden to lift the Teodoro Soldati Trophy with a winning score of seven-under-par 285.

2007 Yubin Yung T3; JG Claassens T6
2008 Haydn Porteous 1st
2009 Haydn Porteous 6th
2010 Haydn Porteous T3; Shayne Allen T7
2011 Tristen Strydom T2; Dylan Raubenheimer T4
2012 None (Jason Froneman top finisher – T15)
2013 Kyle McClatchie T3; Keegan de Lange T6
2014 None (Luca Fillipi top finisher – T11)
2015 Herman Loubser 4th; Luke Mayo T7; Luca Filippi T7

For the full results, click HERE

PHOTO – The SA juniors at the Reply Italian International Under-16 Championship; credit SAGA.
(From left to right – Herman Loubser from Boland, Luca Filippi from Western Province, Luke Mayo from KwaZulu-Natal and Wilco Nienaber from Free State)

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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