Strydom back to winning ways at Umhlali

Ekurhuleni’s Tristen Strydom finally just trusted his ability, his swing and emotions and it paid off handsomely with a three stroke victory in the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Championship in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.
Strydom carded rounds of 71, 68, 70 and 72 to triumph on a winning score of three-under-par 284.
Luca Filippi from the Western Province moved into second at the halfway mark with two 70s and maintained his position with a third round 73.
A final round 71 helped Filippi to the runner-up spot on 284, and he finished five strokes clear of WP stable mate, Luke Trocado.
The victory was an emotional one for Strydom, who dedicated the win to South Africa’s number one ranked amateur, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, his uncle Jaco Strydom and his parents, Freddie and JJ.
“It has been a long time since I lifted a trophy, and it has been a long journey back,” he said. “Thanks to Christiaan’s motivation and the support from my uncle and parents, I am a winner again.”
Just a year ago Strydom was ranked inside the top four on the South African Golf Association’s Junior Rankings.
A succession of mediocre performances saw him slip well off the radar, but he struck up a friendship with Bezuidenhout that got his career back on track.
The 17-year-old from Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate began showing glimpses of his winning form in March, when he won the Western Province Under-23 Championship and tied for fifth at the Curro SA Junior International.
“I don’t know why, but I lost all my confidence last year,” Strydom explained. “I just didn’t feel like practicing and competing and lost interest in golf. When I joined the Ekurhuleni Golf Union, Christiaan and I struck up a friendship and he has literally changed my life.
“Rambo is such a positive guy. His self-belief and work ethic is inspiring and travelling with him meant that I started working hard again and started gaining confidence. Rambo helped me to gain self-belief again. We all look up to him and I really owe him for this victory.”
Meanwhile Matt Saulez from Gowrie Farm Golf Club claimed a share of fourth on six over 290 alongside with Altin van der Merwe from Western Province.
Reigning Nomads SA Boys U-15 champion Herman Loubser from Boland tied for sixth on 292 with Gauteng North’s Juan-Pierre Cooper and Rupert Kaminski from Central Gauteng.
281 – Tristen Strydom (71, 68, 70, 72)
284 – Luca Filippi (70, 70, 73, 71)
289 – Luke Trocado (72, 72, 73, 72)
290 – Matt Saulez (71, 70, 75, 74), Altin van der Merwe (69, 77, 73, 71)
292 – Rupert Kaminski (76, 73, 72, 71), Juan-Pierre Cooper (75, 75, 71, 71), Herman Loubser (73, 69, 76, 74)
294 – Kyle McClatchie (72, 75, 72, 75)
295 – Gregory Mckay (74, 75, 72, 74)
296 – Rosswell Sinclair (75, 72, 73, 76), Hendrik du Plessis (72, 71, 77, 76)
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