SA and India’s best golfers to compete at Leopard Creek

Wilco Nienaber, one of GolfRSA's Juniors is set to compete in this year's Fellowship Cup.

MALALANE – The country’s best junior golf players will face India’s cream of the crop in the Fellowship Cup at Leopard Creek from tomorrow until Friday.

Wilco Nienaber, a 17-year-old golfer from Bloemfontein, earned his spot in the GolfRSA Junior Team with a victory at the Sun International African Junior open on Sunday.

He was in joint third place with team mate Christo Lamprecht and the two are excited to tee off at Leopard Creek.

“Wilco and I can’t wait to get to Leopard Creek now, because it’s the kind of course you can only take on if your game is on song. Heading to Mpumalanga with form is great for both of us,” said Lamprecht, who hails from the Southern Cape.

Christo Lamprecht.

Nienaber and Lamprecht are second and third on the latest SA Junior U-19 ranking.

The last two members of their team are the first ranked Jayden Schaper from Ekurhuleni and fourth ranked Luke Mayo from KwaZulu-Natal.

Jayden Schaper, one of GolfRSA’s Juniors.

“Last year only the seniors and mid-amateurs played the first Fellowship Cup, so we are stoked that there will be four teams this year,” Nienaber said.

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“I think we’ll do well against India, because we’ve all competed at Leopard Creek before. Chris and Jay played for the GolfRSA Junior team in the Africa Amateur Championship team competition earlier this year and the team finished second. Chris also finished fourth in the 72-hole stroke play.

“Luke and I had to miss out due to school obligations, but we played the course during the Leopard Trophy in 2016, where Luke tied for third,” Nienamber said.

“Leopard Creek is a great test of golf with many challenges, but the format will give all of us a chance.”

The team will be playing betterball in round one, foursomes in round two and singles in the final round.

The South African junior quartet will face India’s top junior Kartik Sharma, as well as Harshjeet Singh Sethie, Saarthak Chhibber and Raghav Chugh, respectively ranked second, fourth and sixth on the Junior Boys Order of Merit.

Luke Mayo.

“Earlier this year, we competed against some of India’s best golfers in our premier events and they really showed their mettle, especially at Leopard Creek,” said Lamprecht.

“As the Scots proved during the Africa Amateur Championship, anyone who brings an A-game to Leopard Creek has a chance to win, especially if they are striking it well and the putter is hot. So we are definitely not underestimating this junior team.”

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The juniors will be playing alongside senior, mid-amateur and open amateur teams of four players each.

SA’s top ranked senior Steve Williams from Gauteng and number two Francois le Roux from Western Province return for duty alongside new caps Greg Gleeson from Gauteng and Andre van Dyk from North West.

The mid-amateur team features Kevin Sharp from Gauteng and Western Province’s Gerlou Roux, as well as new caps Ryan Dreyer from Gauteng (SA’s number one ranked mid-amateur) and number two ranked Almero Theron from Free State, the reigning SA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play champion.

The open amateur team features Filippi from Western Province, new caps Malcolm Mitchell and Matt Saulez from KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng North’s Albert Venter, who was called for duty after SA’s number one ranked Kyle McClatchie qualified for the US Amateur Championship.

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Corridor Gazette

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