Van Rooyen captures Bridge Junior Series win in thrilling playoff
Jan Stals van Rooyen of Clovelly showed nerves of steel to win a three-way playoff at King David Mowbray Golf Club on Friday, 10 January 2020 and qualify for the regional final of the prestigious Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series.
The stakes were high when Van Rooyen lined up against Matthew Lotz of Atlantic Beach and Bobbi Brown of Steenberg. The South Regional Final, scheduled for April, offers the winner the opportunity to land an all-expenses paid trip to the North and South Junior Championship at Pinehurst, North Carolina which has hosted three US Opens, the PGA Championships and the Ryder Cup.
The trio of talented young golfers faced a playoff after finishing a shot behind tournament winner Travis Procter, who had already qualified for the regional final by winning a #BridgeJuniorSeries title at Boschenmeer, Paarl in September last year.
“Winning the playoff to book a spot in the regional final is the next best thing to winning the tournament,” said Van Rooyen, an ambitious 16-year-old home schooled learner, who practices his golf for five hours a day under the watchful eye of coach Mike Michell.
He came close to winning his first #BridgeJuniorSeries title on his home course Clovelly in September 2019, an event won by Junior Presidents Cup player Jordan Duminy. “That helped a lot, knowing I could compete against the best players in big events,” said Jan.
His sisters Isabella (16) and little Sofia (9) also entered the #BridgeJuniorSeries tournament at King David Mowbray, with Isabella finishing tied for 8th after a round of 73 which included a superb birdie on the challenging 18th hole.
“Jan showed tremendous grit in the playoff so we are delighted that he will join Travis at the regional final,” said Paul Stewart, Chief Executive at Bridge Fund Managers.
The #BridgeJuniorSeries launched in 2017, is managed by the SA Golf Development Board and endorsed by GolfRSA. Open to boys and girls in the U13 and U19 divisions, it is played across 18 tournaments hosted by leading courses countrywide. Prizes are sponsored by TaylorMade South Africa, who has partnered with the series since its inception.
Golfers in the South have one more opportunity to qualify for the regional final when the magnificent Oubaai course hosts the #BridgeJuniorSeries on 26 January 2020.
Visit juniorseries.bridgefm.co.za for the full schedule and entry mechanism, or contact Peter Little of the SAGDB on email@example.com.
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