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Van Wyk makes Glacier Junior Series history

23 May 2013

Free State golfer Attie van Wyk became the first junior to successfully defend his title in the four year history of the Glacier Junior Series

Attie van Wyk rode a hot putter to win the Elsabe Hefer Tournament in Bloemfontein and join a very exclusive list of record holders on the Glacier Junior on Sunday.

The Free State teenager became the first junior to successfully defend his title in the four year history of the series when he edged out Danus Kruger by one shot for victory at Bloemfontein Golf Club.

And not even South Africa’s top amateurs Haydn Porteous, Zander Lombard and Combrinck Smit - the only players to have qualified for the national final in three consecutive years - could manage this feat.

The 15-year-old Grey College learner reeled in birdies at the 10th, 12th, 14th and 16th holes on his way to a one-under-par 71 that saw him clinch the A-Division title from Kruger.

Since his win last year, Van Wyk has represented Grey College in several events and he represented the Free State & Northern Cape at the 2012 SA Junior Inter-Provincial in November last year. Just three weeks before the Glacier Junior Series event, the teenager lifted the Sand River Junior Open title in Virginia.

Van Wyk described his victory last year as one of the biggest achievements of his young golf career, but his title defence success was just as sweet.

“Winning again means I get another crack to challenge for the Orange Bowl spot at the National Final, and that is just awesome,” Van Wyk said. “Last year’s final was very tough and the weather at Hermanus Golf Club was cold, wet and unpleasant. To be honest, I wasn’t well prepared for the pressure and the high level of competition and I definitely didn’t play to my potential.

“That’s why I’m thrilled to have another chance. You don’t often get second chances and I hope to make the most of mine.”

The victory has also further reinforced his desire to follow Bloemfontein professional and European Tour winner Jbe’ Kruger into the pro ranks.

“I’m even more convinced now that I want to pursue a career in pro golf, but I’m not going to rush into it,” Van Wyk said after his victory.

“After I matriculate, I want to attend a golf academy for a couple of years to prepare for the pro circuit and then I’ll turn pro on the Sunshine Tour, like Jbe’ did. He is a fantastic role model for all as amateurs, not only in the Free State.

“He works very hard and he is a humble guy, but he always has time for us youngsters. He has done really well on the Sunshine Tour and in Europe, and that inspires us. He makes you believe that if he can do it, so can you.”

Van Wyk’s younger brother, Enrique, also celebrated some success.

Just a week after competing in the Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open, the youngster took second place in the C Division.

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