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Ernie’s nephew takes charge at Nomads SA Boys U-17

24 Jun 2013

Southern Cape’s Jovan Rebula leads the SA Boys U-17 Championship at Mount Edgecombe after an opening three under 68; credit Deon Smit / Immanuel Photography.

Just a day after Ernie Els lifted the BMW International Championship title in Germany, the celebrated golfer’s young nephew Jovan Rebula hit the front at the Nomads SA Boys U-17 Championship at Mount Edgecombe.

The 15-year-old Southern Cape golfer carded a nearly flawless opening three-under-par 68 to take the sole lead in the prestigious national event. He leads by one from the Western Province’s Altin van der Merwe and is two shots clear of MH Steyn from Central Gauteng, who closed with a 70.

Local favourite Aneurin Gounden is also within striking distance of the lead at his home course.

The 16-year-old off set four bogeys with six birdies, but a costly seven at the par-seven at the par-five 12th hole saw him come home in even-par 71 to tie Dainfern Country Club’s Dean Martin for fourth.

Rebula from George has been in threatening form this season, especially in the national events, and it is certainly not surprising to see the young golfer in ascendancy again.

The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation golfer tied for second at the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship stroke play qualifier and tied for ninth in the match play. He claimed a share of fifth at the Cape Province Open and tied for third at the Western Province Amateur at the end of April. His grit, determination and signature patience also reaped success in March when he lifted the Boys North and South Championship title on the junior circuit.

Rebula birdied the 12th and 17th to complete a bogey-free front nine and went three under with birdie number three at the first. After pars from the second to the fifth, he put the only blemish on his card at the par-four sixth.

The youngster’s tee shot went awry and while looking for the ball in the rough just off the fairway, he accidentally kicked it. Having caused the ball to move, Rebula reported it immediately, took the penalty on the chin and finished with a bogey. He parred his way through the seventh and eighth and closed with a birdie at the par-three ninth to sign for a 68.

Van der Merwe, who plays out of Bellville Golf Club, enjoyed an equally solid round.

The 17-year-old had a birdie and bogey a piece on each nine before he boxed a lengthy eagle putt at the par-five 14th to finish one shot behind the leader.

Modderfontein’s Steyn birdied the 12th hole, but bogeys at the 10th, 15th and 17th saw him slip to third.

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