Strong SA presence in Botswana Open

Thabo Maseko, Northern Amateur winner, one of the players to watch in the Botswana Open starting on SaturdayThe eight players representing South Africa in next week’s Zone VI, some of whom are the country’s most exciting young players, have entered the Botswana Open, a 54 hole stroke play tournament, which commences at Gaborone Golf Club on Satruday.

“This will act as a good competition for our players to acclimatise to the local conditions leading up to the commencement of the annual Zone VI team competition,” said Enver Hassen, president of the South African Golf Association (SAGA) and team manager.

Danie van Tonder, the exciting young Central Gauteng golfer, who is currently ranked second on the latest SAGA Player Rankings, is the player whose current form gives him the label of pre-tournament favourite. However Thabo Maseko, who recently won the prestigious Northern Amateur, is playing well and will be hoping to build on that standout performance.

Kwazulu Natal amateur, Steven van Heerden, who last month won the EP / Border Open, is also a form player and will be one to watch.

Other players who are part of the South African team playing tomorrow are Jared Harvey (Kwazulu Natal and team captain), CJ du Plessis (Limpopo), Riekus Nortje (Southern Cape), Tyrone Ryan (Central Gauteng) and Allan Versfeld (Central Gauteng).

“Gaborone Golf Club should be a good test for our golfers. The greens are good. The fairways are fair and any wayward shot will be penal should it end up in the thick bushveld rough,” said Hassen.

But despite South Africa’s dominant position in the sport on the African continent, other African countries boast some talented individuals. One of whom, who has also entered the Botswana Open, is Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe. Vincent showed South Africa’s best juniors how to play the testing Glendower Golf Club layout when during the 72 hole Africa Junior Golf Challenge, a team event which was played this week, he walked off with the best individual score. He is capable of taking on the best the South African players can offer in Gaborone.

All players play 36 holes tomorrow. The final round will be played on Sunday, with only eighteen holes required to decide the winner on the final day.

On Tuesday, ten African countries participate in the Zone VI, also to be played at Gaborone Golf Club.

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