Top SA pair bound for Duke of York Young Champions

South Africa’s top ranked Ivanna Samu and Dylan Naidoo will line up against the world’s top juniors in the 15th edition of the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy, which tees off at the Prince’s Golf Club in England from 9-11 September.

The field that contest this highly prestigious 54-hole stroke play championship comprises Under-18 national championship winners, players who have won a major golfing event in the preceding year, past champions or juniors who received a special invitation issued by the DOY Tournament Advisory Board.

Samu secured her place in the exclusive field with a play-off victory in the 2015 Nomads SA Girls Championship in Orkney in June.

Naidoo booked his spot with a runaway seven stroke victory in the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play Championship at Polokwane Golf Club in April.

“The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy annually attracts the cream of junior golf in the world,” said Womens Golf South Africa president Karen Olivant, who travelled with the pair to England.

“This championship carry significant World Amateur Golf Ranking points and our players are afforded the rare opportunity to compete against the best at Open Championship venues.

“Ivanna and Dylan have gained invaluable international experience in the last couple of months and we are excited to see them put this into practice at such a highly esteemed event.”

Samu won the Sanlam South African Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship and reached the final of the Sanlam South African Women’s Amateur Championship.

In August, the 16-year-old Ruimsig golfer tied for 21st in the Annika Invitational Europe and reached the semi-final of the Girl’s British Open Amateur Championship in Scotland.

Naidoo was one of the key contributors to the SA four-man side that finished eighth in the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in June. The 19-year-old Modderfontein golfer followed with a tie for third in The Optimist International Championship at the PGA National Resort and Spa in August.

The South African pair will go head-to-head with a host of national champions, including 2015 Finnish U18 Champion Oliver Windell, reigning Austrian Boys champion Mazimilian Lecher, 2015 Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play champion Isabella Holpfer, Adrian de Chassart, who won the 2015 U-16 Belgium National Junior Championship and Emily Toy, winner of the 2015 English Girls Amateur Strokeplay Championship.

“This championship has grown from having just 11 competitors from six countries in 2001, to a field of more than 50 champions from 30-plus countries last year,” said South African Golf Association president, Gerhard Conradie.

“Our two juniors will gain incredible experience competing against players of the highest calibre at this top international venue. We are really pleased to see Dylan and Ivanna compete in this world-class event and excited to see how they measure up against a top international field.”

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association and Womens Golf South Africa.

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