10 April 2019 – The four-man South African team has kept the country’s title defence on track in the Africa Region 5 Golf Tournament with another dominant performance at the Rossmund Desert Golf Course in Namibia on Wednesday.
Ekurhuleni junior Jayden Schaper stretched a two-shot overnight lead in the 54-hole Stroke Play Seeding stage to a five stroke victory on 10 under par with a final round three-under-par 69.
Luca Filippi from Milnerton returned an even-par 72 to finish in second and South Africa’s top ranked Open Amateur Wilco Nienaber finished third on four-under after matching Schaper’s 69.
Pierre Pellergrin from Mauritius sealed a fourth place finish on one-under with a round of 72, and Therion Nel from Bloemfontein also navigated the unique desert course in 72 strokes to round out the top five on one-over 217.
South African Golf Association President Naadir Agherdien was pleased with the team’s progress.
“We are very proud of Jayden’s achievement and with the rest of the team’s efforts in the seeding stage that put us in a really strong position to defend the title,” said the team manager.
“The team results determine the ranking for the match play stage on Thursday. The boys combined for a team total of 629. Namibia finished 45 strokes adrift in second, which means we will play the host nation for the first and second places. Mauritius finished third on 678 and Zambia in fourth on 683 and the two nations will face off for third.
“Our weather was infinitely better today. After the morning fog cleared, it warmed up to a sunny 19 degrees. The wind picked up a little again in the early afternoon, but the boys were solid once again, as evidenced by the results. The rest of the Region 5 nations have some way to go to catch up to our standard and I believe GolfRSA has a role to play in this.”
Schaper led the field with rounds of 71 and 66 on day one.
The country’s top ranked junior gave shots back to the field with bogeys at the first and third holes, but steadied the ship with a birdie at the fourth.
“I made a really great birdie from a dead position at the fourth and that got the round going,” said the Ebotse golfer. “I had an eagle chance at the fifth, but the putt lipped out and I tapped in for another birdie to get back to level par.
“I kept it solid over the next four holes, but I made two really bad bogeys from easy positions on 10 and 11. After I let it slip a bit, I got it back with a solid birdie at 12 and another at the par five 15th. And I managed to make one more good stroke for birdie at 17 to put together a decent round.”
Each nation could enter two players in the Longest Drive Competition that followed the official practice round on Monday.
Schaper set the early target with a great drive measuring 299 metres, but he was pipped for glory by big-hitting Nienaber, who bombed his driver into a stiff wind to win with a drive of 312 metres.
“That was a lot of fun, and I have been driving the ball extremely well, but the putter is a different story” said the reigning SA Amateur champion.
“I’ve stopped counting how many putts have lipped out, rushed just past or stopped in the throat of the holes. It’s been very frustrating, but I hope the flat stick comes to the party in the final round, because match play is a different beast.
“You have to be more aggressive to put pressure on your opponent and that means holing putts. Luca and Therion will go out first for us in the foursomes and Jayden and I will back them up in the singles. Our goal is to win all three games to bring the trophy back to South Africa.”
Team Result – 54-hole Stroke Play Seeding
629 South Africa
Individual Result – 54-hole Stroke Play Seeding Top 20
206 Jayden Schaper RSA 71 66 69
211 Luca Filippi RSA 66 73 72
212 Wilco Nienaber RSA 71 72 69
215 Pierre Pellergrin MAU 68 75 72
217 Therion Nel RSA 72 73 72
220 Tafara Mpofu ZIM 74 73 73
221 Grant Mather NAM 74 76 71; Likius Nande NAM 76 70 75
222 Florent Toulet MAU 73 79 70
224 Kelvin Chinuye ZAM 72 74 78
225 Mandla Junior Dlamini SWA 74 75 76; Denmark Mulambo ZAM 73 73 79
229 Siboniso Mkhwanazi SWA 79 73 77
232 George Chisambo MAL 78 75 79; Victor Marcal ANG 79 73 80
233 Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa ZIM 80 76 77
234 Patrick Mwendapole ZAM 79 82 73; Kevin Wentzel NAM 78 78 78
236 Graeme Derek Lewis ZIM 80 80 76
237 Sifiso Vilane SWA 77 85 75
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.