SA pair primed for SA IPT challenge after Scottish success
Top South African juniors Paul Boshoff and Tristen Strydom are fired up ahead of theSouth African Inter-Provincial Championship in Cape Town after outstanding performances in the weather-shortened Duke of York Young Champions Trophy in Scotland.
Buoyed by top 10 finishes at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club on Thursday, the top ranking juniors will debut for Ekurhuleni in the A-Division of the country’s premier national team event, sponsored by Tempest, at Westlake Golf Club from 22-26 September.
The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy was hit by heavy fog from the North Sea, which caused numerous suspensions in the second and third rounds and eventually forced the organisers to declare a 36-hole tournament.
Boshoff tied for fifth on one-over-par 143 to become only the third South African to record a top five finish in the 14 year history. Matthew Kent finished fourth in South Africa’s debut in 2004 and Haydn Porteous took third in the 2011.
The reigning Nomads SA Boys Match Play champion had half-a-dozen bogeys, but countered with five birdies in rounds of 71 and 72 and was understandably pleased with his performance.
“Royal Aberdeen is undoubtedly the toughest course I’ve ever played,” said 18-year-old.
“Between us, Tristen and I lost almost 30 balls during the practice round, so to walk away with a top five finish was just awesome.
“To be honest, I think that if the really wind blew, I might have struggled to break 100. The course is incredibly tight with brutal rough and I don’t think I saw a tree in four days.
“It was a fantastic experience, though. You really learn to think and plan your way around a course like this. You pull more clubs out of the bag than at home and you get creative with shots that you didn’t even know you could play.”
Strydom navigated the famous Balgownie links in rounds of 70 and 75 to tie for eighth on 145.
“We only played six holes in the third round on Thursday before they called it a day,” said the reigning Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play champion.
“I guess they didn’t have much of a choice, but we were both disappointed not to play the full 54 holes, because it was such a great experience to play a course like this.
“The layout was tight and brutal and open and like no other course I’ve ever played. I played Royal Troon two years ago, but this course was in a different league.”
The pair will barely touch ground in South Africa before they join the rest of the Ekurhuleni team that includes NJ Arnoldi, Angus Ellis-Cole, Bryce McCabe, Jason Froneman, Stefan Cronje and Teagan Moore.
“We land at seven on Saturday morning and the team flies to Cape Town at 10h00,” Boshoff said.
“Tristen and I are both really excited to meet up with the rest of the team, because we are all friends and really like one big family. Everyone plays for each over and we all have each other’s backs. No heroes and zeroes, just eight guys hungry to bat for Ekurhuleni.”
Ekurhuleni will go up against defending champions Gauteng North, host Western Province, Boland, Southern Cape and Central Gauteng in the A-Division.
The battle for B-Division promotion will be decided between Free State, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Eastern Province, North West and Border.
Strydom said the team is high motivated to prove themselves in the A-Division.
“Gavan Levenson is a great manager,” Strydom said. “He has whipped us into a motivated unit and we will fight to stay in the A-Division. NJ, Angus, Jason and Stefan were on the team that earned promotion last year and their experience is vital to the team. The rest of us just need to bring our best games.
“I love the Westlake layout, because it’s a great match play course. I know Paul can’t wait just to stand in the sun for an hour after Scotland, but I just want to get out there and start making birdies.”
Reigning Nomads SA Girls champion Cara Gorlei, who completed the South African line-up in Scotland, opened with an 81 and fired a 75 in the second round to tie for 35th on 14-over-par 156.
Meanwhile Gisli Sveinbergsson posted rounds of 69 and 68 to become the third Icelander to win the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy on a winning score of five-under-par 137.
DUKE OF YORK YOUNG CHAMPIONS TROPHY – TOP 10 RESULTS
137 Gisli Sveinbergsson ICE 69 68
141 Ren Okazaki JPN 70 71
142 Eduardo Carrete MEX 71 71; Carlotta Ricolfi ITA 70 72
143 Paul Boshoff RSA 71 72; Viktor Hovland NOR 72 71; Marco Penge ENG 72 71
145 Tristen Strydom RSA 70 75; Ewen Ferguson SCO 70 75
146 Jillian Hollis USA 73 73
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.