SAGA ANNOUNCES WATC TEAM
Jacques Blaauw, Dylan Frittelli and Cameron Johnston have been selected to represent South Africa in the Eisenhower Trophy at the World Amateur Teams Championship (WATC) being played in Adelaide, Australia from 16 to 19 October.
“I believe we have selected an experienced Protea team,” said Neale Kunhardt, South African Golf Association (SAGA) President.
The team was announced by the SAGA on Sunday evening at the prize giving of the Southern Cape Open played at Plettenberg Bay Golf Club.
Dylan Frittelli, 18 year old Irene Golf Club member from Gauteng North, is currently the top ranked player on the SAGA Player Rankings, secured his place in the team with consistently good performances at home combined with a fine win in Canada, in the Barrett Amateur Championship, two weeks ago. He has recorded two notable wins over the last twelve months, in addition to his Canadian victory. He won the SA Boys U18 in April this year and the Callaway World Junior at Torrey Pines in San Diego, California, in the latter part of 2007.
Frittelli has taken up a scholarship at the University of Texas, in the town of Austen, and was not present at the team announcement.
Jacques Blaauw, established his credentials early in the selection process. The 22 year old Bolander, who plays his golf out of Paarl Golf Club, won both the SA Stroke Play and Glacier SA Amateur Championships this year. He further entrenched himself in the team with a 10th place finish in the British Amateur 36 hole stroke play qualifier and a 9th place in the Welsh Amateur Stroke Play Championship this year.
“I have enjoyed an awesome year,” said Blaauw speaking after the team announcement. “Playing in Australia for my country in the Eisenhower Trophy is very special as far as I am concerned, an achievement of which I am very proud,” he said.
The third and final spot in the team went to the 37 year old Milnerton Golf Club member, Cameron Johnston. “I have had a great run this year. In arranging more time to practice with a more professional like approach to the way I play has all paid dividends,” explained Johnston. “I really hoped that I could win Protea colours before turning professional, and it has come true, in perhaps the most prestigious competition an amateur can get national colours,” the ecstatic Western Province player said.
Johnston has excelled on the local amateur circuit this year recording wins in the Cape Province Open, Western Province Stroke Play, SA Mid Amateur Championships and now the Southern Cape Open, which was decided this weekend. He recorded a 72 hole score of 286, two under par, one shot clear of runner up, Taymen Erasmus.
The non travelling reserve was also announced, namely Adrian Ford. The 21 year old Durbanville Golf Club player, in the Western Province and Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation, was awarded his Protea colours in the Test Match against France earlier this year.
“In deciding on the team a number of factors were considered from performances over nearly a year leading up to this announcement,” said Neale Kunhardt, the SAGA President. Speaking at the announcement, at the final prize giving of the Southern Cape Open at Plettenberg Bay Golf Club on Sunday, Kunhardt indicated that the SAGA Player Rankings, Stroke Averages, performances in variable conditions both local and abroad as well as conduct on the golf course were all considered.
The team captain is the Senior Vice President of the SAGA, Enver Hassen.
The SAGA will have two other representatives in attendance at the WATC this year. They are Neale Kunhardt, who sits on the Administrative Committee of the International Golf Federation as well as the Investigative Anti Doping Committee. Errol Möller, Vice President of the SAGA, will be the official SAGA delegate to the International Golf Federation.
South Africa’s best performance in this tournament, since readmission to world sport, was 10th place in 1998. In 1980, South Africa finished 2nd, the best showing since inception of the Eisenhower Trophy in 1958.
There are two competitions, a team event and an individual. In the team event the best two scores in each round count, the lowest 72 hole aggregate will win the competition.