The Dian Kruger effect

Dian Kruger from Gauteng North marched to a six-stroke victory in wire-to-wire style to lift the Nomads SA Under-15 Championship title at the Lake Club Benoni; credit Ernest Blignault.

13 January 2022 – Centurion Country Club’s Dian Kruger jumped up to No 1 in the Under-15 rankings when he won his maiden national title, the Nomads SA Under-15 Championship, in wire-to-wire fashion at Benoni Lake Golf Club this January.

The 14-year-old, who had announced himself on the scene with a tie-fourth finish in December’s Joburg Under-15 Junior Open at Glenvista Country Club, raced to a three-stroke lead when he signed for an opening round of 68 that included six birdies and two bogeys.

Inclement weather and delays saw the field struggle to post low scores in the second round.

Yet, despite dropping four shots in his last seven holes and signing for a disappointing 76, Kruger maintained his three-stroke lead on the field.

On the final day, the Gauteng North junior once again fired the day’s low round – together with Fancourt’s Dewan de Bruin – mixing five birdies with four bogeys for a closing 71 to secure an impressive six-shot win.

“To be honest, I’m feeling more relieved than anything else,” Kruger said after winning his maiden national title. “It’s never easy to hold onto a lead and I knew the pack would be chasing me hard.

Nomads National Senior Vice Chairman Neil Malherbe with the 2022 Nomads SA U-15 champion Dian Kruger

“I played nicely at the Joburg Under-15 Junior Open, but I was getting a deep with my swing, so my coach Kyle Phelan and I worked really hard on getting my swing back on plane in the break. I hit the ball really well this week and hit a lot of greens, but I left a few putts out there.

“I have been working hard to improve the technical and mental aspects of my game over the past few months and I’m so happy to see it pay off,” he said.

Oubaai’s Ryan Melville secured his best finish of the season with a runner up position, despite a double bogey on the final hole.

Strand’s Andries van der Vyfer finished alone in third a further shot back while South African Golf Development Board member Johndre Ludick from Graaff-Reinet Golf Club secured fourth on seven-over with a final round of level-par 72.

Zane Kleynhans – a finalist in the B-Division of the SA Women’s Amateur Championship last year – led the Girl’s Competition from start to finish and her rounds of 77, 76 and 78 netted the Centurion junior a share of 19th on the final leaderboard alongside Jason Ressell from North West.

Kesha Louw from East London Golf Club finished a further two shots adrift in a tie for 22nd, and Country Club Johannesburg’s Gia Raad took third with her joint 37th place finish.

215 Dian Kruger 68 76 71
221 Ryan Melville 71 76 74
222 Andries van der Vyver 72 75 75
223 Johndre Ludick 74 77 72
224 Dewan de Bruin 73 80 71
225 Roelof Craig 74 77 74
226 Cilliers Craig 75 72 79; Benjamin Weber 74 79 73; Bryan Newman 74 78 74
227 Liam McKenna 78 74 75; Zinan Maimane 76 78 73; Jaydon Galant 76 77 74
228 Boston Franks 72 79 77
229 Alec Brink 75 72 82; Mojelefa Nale 74 81 74; Pieter Hendriks 74 77 78
230 Jano Terblanche Stone 78 77 75; Nicolas van der Vyver 76 82 72
231 Jason Ressell 80 75 76; Zané Kleynhans 77 76 78