Steyn sizzles at Joburg Junior Open

Less than a month since he let the Central Gauteng Open lead slip, Marco Steyn charged into contention at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington again, but this time, the Modderfontein junior persevered to lift the Joburg Junior Open title.

Steyn navigated the East Course in six under 66 to claim his second Junior Open title this season with a winning total of eight-under-par 136 on Friday.

The 17-year-old finished three strokes clear of Matt Saulez from KwaZulu-Natal, who closed with 70.

“This time it feels like I’ve won a major championship,” Steyn said.

“When I won the Dimension Data Junior Open, it didn’t really feel like a win; it felt more like Luca (Filippi) lost the tournament and I won by default. I was really happy to win at Fancourt, but this time, I had to work for this win and I feel like I earned it.

“I was bummed after I led the Central Gauteng Open last month and lost by one stroke. This win totally makes up for that disappointment. It’s an awesome feeling to finish the season on such a high note.”

Steyn opened with a two under 70 and started the final round three off the pace, but the TuksSport Golf Academy player was well in the thick of things at the halfway mark.

He enjoyed a trio of birdies on the trot from the sixth, and pulled level with Saulez at the 10th after the Durban Country Club player surrendered two shots around the turn.

“I made a solid chip-and-putt birdie at six and boxed a 20-footer for birdie at seven,” said Steyn.

“That birdie at seven felt like the game changer, because I played really solid after that. I knocked in another short one for birdie at eight and move clear of the field when I holed a seven-footer for birdie at 12.”

He secured the victory in style with back-to-back birdies at the final two holes.

“I hit a great approach at 17 and made the three-footer for birdie,” Steyn said.

“At 18, I hit my second just short of the green but made the up-and-down for birdie. I liked the way they moved the tees on the par fives slightly forward so we could get a little more aggressive, but they made up for it with some tough pins on the par fours.

“It was a test for us, especially ahead of the South African Junior Inter-Provincial. Western Province better know we mean business in Worcester; we will be gunning for glory after coming so close last year.”

South African Golf Association Golf Manager David Younge was impressed with the high standard of golf on show at this year’s Joburg Junior Open.

“We witnessed some spectacular shot-making and I was very impressed to see a winning score of eight under and the top 10 players all finish under par,” Younge said.

“We collaborated with Central Gauteng Golf Union on the set-up of the course and it was quite amazing to watch the juniors face a set up similar to the Central Gauteng Open. It was certainly not easy for them, but they really relished the challenge and showcased their skills.”

136 Marco Steyn 70 66
139 Matt Saulez 69 70
140 Dylan Mostert 71 69; Keegan Mclachlan 70 70; Dawid Opperman 69 71
141 Fritz Orren 74 67
143 Dino Capazario 70 73; Jan-louis Nel 70 73; Dehan Joubert 69 74; Gregory Mckay 68 75

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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