9 February 2023 – Kyle de Beer, Aldrich Potgieter, Jono Broomhead and Dan Bennett celebrated a successful title defence for Team South Africa thanks to an explosive start in the Team Competition of the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club.
The quartet raced to a 12-stroke lead over Scotland over the first two rounds, and were in no great danger of losing the title when the heavens opened, causing a lengthy suspension of play on the third day.
“We were hoping to finish the third round, because we wanted to try and set a tournament record, but unfortunately the tournament had to be reduced to 36 holes after more relentless rain rendered the course unplayable,” said De Beer, who captained the team to a 19 under par victory.
“We had a good couple of days together at the squad camp before the championship started, and that boosted our team spirit and fired up our desire to win. It was all about the team over the first two days, and every player on the team made a valuable contribution. And we are over the moon that we could get this one for our manager, Gavin Groves, because he has never had a team win before.”
The reigning SA Amateur champion commented that, after a few lean years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the South African players loved having a big compliment of international players in the field.
“It was awesome to have so many nations compete, and to see so many teams enter this year. Loved having the European players and the team from India here, and it was especially great that Zimbabwe, Kenya and Angola also sent teams. What a wonderful opportunity for them to test themselves and to gain experience in an event of this stature, and at South Africa’s No 1 course. The competition was fierce, but even on the course, we shared a lot of laughs and we forged a lot of new friendships this week.”
Gregor Graham, Matthew Wilson, Gregor Tait and Jamie Mann ensured second for Scotland on 425, while Sweden’s No 1 team edged out their No 2 side by one stroke to finish in third on a total of 448.
Team Manager Gavin Groves was delighted with his charges’ performance.
“What an incredible time out at Leopard Creek,” said Groves, who also does duty as the GolfRSA National Squad’s Fitness Expert. “A hugely productive national squad camp, followed by the African Amateur Championship.
“These four gents showed some incredible patience and composure around the No 1 course in South Africa to win by 12 shots. A big thank you to Scotland and the rest of the international contingent for coming to compete and we hope to see you all next year – hopefully for all 72 holes.
“As always, to Mr Rupert, the Leopard Creek staff and members, thank you for allowing us to experience this magical place.
“Thanks also to the best in the business, my mate sport psychologist Theo Bezuidenhout, for sharing an amazing 10 days with us as the manager of the junior team.”
Scotland’s Gregor Graham, Matthew Wilson, Gregor Tait and Jamie Mann ensured the runner-up finish on 425, while Sweden’s No 1 team edged out their No 2 side by one stroke to finish in third on a total of 448.
Singles: Best 3 scores of 4 to count
413 Team South Africa 208 205
425 Team Scotland 214 211
448 Team Sweden (1) 224 224
449 Team Sweden (2) 220 229
451 Team Kenya 226 225
453 Team India 225 228
454 Team South Africa Juniors 229 225
474 Team Zimbabwe 239 235
538 Team Angola 278 260