9 April 2019 – South Africa’s number one ranked junior Jayden Schaper – flanked by fellow GolfRSA National Squad players Luca Filippi, Wilco Nienaber and Therion Nel – boosted South Africa’s title defence bid with a strong start in the Africa Region 5 Golf Tournament in Namibia.
Schaper opened with a one-under-par 71 and fired a sizzling six-under 66 in the second round at the Rossmund Golf Course to catapult to the top of the leaderboard in the Stroke Play Seeding stage on Tuesday.
The Ebotse golfer leads the field on seven-under-par 137, with Filippi from Milnerton just two strokes adrift after rounds of 66 and 73.
Nienaber from Bloemfontein, who posted 71 and 72, is tied for third on one-under with Pierre Pellergrin from Mauritius, while fellow Free State golfer and the fourth member of the team Nel finished in fifth on one-over with rounds of 72 and 73.
“It was very tough out there today on the course. The conditions were really difficult, with a swirling wind that was pretty confusing and it got really cold in the afternoon,” Schaper said.
Like the rest of the field, the leader struggled to come to terms with the demanding greens but he managed to warm the flat stick up in the afternoon session,
“We found it tough to putt on the greens and with the chipping, too, because the surfaces are not very true. I managed four birdies, but had three bogeys as I grinded out a 71,” said the Ekurhuleni junior.
“In the afternoon, I made a slow start with three pars and then I birdied the fourth and fifth holes. I hit some good putts on six, seven, eight and nine, but nothing dropped. I started hot on the back nine, though, when I eagled the par five 10th and the par five 15th.
“I hit driver at 10 and hit a 4-iron into the wind from 210 yards to 10 feet and boxed the putt. At 15, I holed another good put and then I drained a 40-footer for birdie at 17. Unfortunately I cancelled the birdie with a silly drop at 18, but I was really pleased to put together a low one for the team.”
Following the final round, the countries will be seeded according to their stroke results, explained Team SA manager, South African Golf Association president Naadir Agherdien.
“The top team will play the second placed team for first and second place and the teams ranked third and fourth will compete for third place,” Agherdien said. “The rest play for the minor placings. The format for the match play phase will be a foursomes pair and two singles matches for three points.
“The conditions were quite challenging, especially the weather. Cold, misty mornings and icy winds in the afternoon with the temperature at its peak reaching 18 degrees. It’s the same for all the players, and that’s why I am proud of the team. I am extremely happy with their first day collaboration and tour substantial lead of 31 shots, and we hope to further improve this on the last seeding round.”
Day 1 Team Leaderboard
419 South Africa
463 Eswatini; Zimbabwe
Day 1 Stroke Play Leaderboard – top 20
137 Jayden Schaper RSA 71 66
139 Luca Filippi RSA 66 71
142 Wilco Nienaber RSA 71-72; Pierre Pellergrin MAU 68 75
145 Therion Nel RSA 72 73
146 Likius Nande NAM 76 70; Kelvin Chibuye ZAM 72 74; Denmark Mulambo 73 73
147 Tafara Mpofu ZIM 74 73
149 Mandla Junior Dlamini 74 75
150 Grant Mather NAM 74 76
152 Victor Marcal ANG 79 73; Siboniso Mkhwanazi SWA 79 73; Florent Toulet MAU 73 79
153 George Chisambo MAL 78 75
154 Stanley Gawanab NAM 76 78
156 Tafadswa Nyanukondiwa ZIM 80 76; Kevin Wentzel NAM 78 78
158 Dil Thomas MAU 78 80
160 Lewis Derek ZIM 80 80
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.