SA Juniors tee off in India today

Four South African junior golfers tee off today in the second 54 hole Hex City – Albatross Junior Golf Championship in India. The players from left to right are Thriston Lawrence (Nelspruit), Izel Pieters (Sabi River Bungalows), Lara Weinstein (Glendower)and Dylan Raubenheimer (Somerset West).

The tournament is being played at the Classic Golf Resorts, Gurgaon, which is approximately 40 km from the Indira Ghandi International Airport, New Delhi.

Manager Erica Lefson commented after the practice round played yesterday. “The course is really nice. The fairways are narrow and the rough is wide enough before getting into tree or bush trouble. The greens are not so good – a few bad patches and sods on about two greens. They also fall away at the edges but are slow – running at about eight – so the players can go for their putts.

“Everyone loves the course – quite a few bunkers which unfortunately at the exact distance off the tee for Dylan – but the other three are able to miss them off their tees. There is water on about four holes. Dylan is playing the course 7110yds, Thriston 6674yds and the girls 6240 yds. The par fives are long and cannot be reached in two – they are all over 500 metres for Dylan!!

“The drive from the airport took an hour – the first 20 minutes on a dirt road with pot holes, cows, pigs and chickens crossing the road and heavy trucks going to the cement factory. Other than the driving which had Thriston screaming and ducking in the Kombi – we could have been in Mpumalanga country (this from Izel) as the terrain is bush, thorn trees and clay – very rural. So now I was really beginning to wonder what to expect. Well what a surprise – the hotel is like a bush hotel, especially the decor which is dark wood and very clean. And the staff are so welcoming.”

Travelling with the group is Thriston’s father, Steven Lawrence, the pro at Nelspruit Golf Club who has been fantastic with the players and helped each of them with a few problems. “ They are now ready to start the tournament and I am hoping for good scoring from all of them.

“The opening ceremony went well – very basic – followed by a fireworks display and welcome dinner at the hotel. The Thai team is here in numbers with India and but there are also players from the UAE, Canada, USA and Indonesia. No one from Korea as it clashes with another event.”

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