South Africa favourites to win Zone VI

SA's No1 Ranked players - Derik FerreiraEight of South Africa’s top amateur golfers will take on the best of Africa’s amateur golfers in the African Zone VI, a team competition being played at Ndola Golf Club, Zambia from 22 to 24 April 2008.

“We are expecting to play against nine other countries,” said team manager and South African Golf Association’s Vice President, Enver Hassen. These countries include Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia and Malawi.

The South African team, on paper, is the strongest with five players in the top 100 on the latest World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR). No other African country has a player in the top 100.

The South African Team is made up of Derik Ferreira (Centurion Country Club, Gauteng North), Dylan Frittelli (Irene Country Club, Gauteng North), Adrian Ford (Durbanville Golf Club, Western Province), Ryan Clarke (Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, Central Guateng), Dean O’Riley (Benoni Lake Golf Club, Ekurhuleni), Johan du Buisson (Kuils River Golf Club, Boland), Jacques Blaauw (Paarl Golf Club, Boland) and Alpheus Kelapile (Leopard Park Golf Club, North West).

The top ranked South African player, on both the South African Golf Association (SAGA) Ranking and on the WAGR, where he is ranked 7th, is Derik Ferreira. The 18 year old player has been a model of consistency having not finished worse than 7th place in his last four tournaments he participated in, winning two of them the Northern Amateur and the North West Open.

Dylan Frittelli, the current South African Boys Champion, who is 17 years old, is ranked 2nd on the SAGA Rankings. Ranked 16th, on the WAGR Rankings, being the next best South African, is the current SA Amateur Stroke Play Champion and Glacier SA Amateur Champion, 22 year old Jacques Blaauw.

“Despite the strength of our team it is normally a fairly closely contested competition due to the format,” explained Hassen. On Tuesday the players play Singles Match Play where each player in the South African team will play one player from each of the other participating countries. Each match counting for a point.

On Wednesday, the teams play Foursomes in the morning and Betterball in the afternoon on a similar basis as that of Tuesday.

The final day, Thursday, will be the same format as for Tuesday, Singles Match Play. “If one of our players happens to take on the best player of another participating country and loses, then we lose against that country, there is no chance of another player in our team making amends on the same day against that country,” explained Hassen.

The Zambia Amateur Open precedes the 2008 Zone VI, also being played at the Ndola Golf Club in the northern part of Zambia. “All eight players are participating as a warm up for the next week’s competition,” said Hassen.

This competition is a 36 hole Stroke Play played over two days commencing on Saturday 19th April 2008.

For further information please contact:
Neale Kunhardt (SAGA: President) Cell: 082 374 3456;
Bruce Younge (SAGA: Executive Director) Cell: 082 374 3455
Enver Hassen (SAGA: Vice President and Team Manager) Cell: 082 374 3454

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