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Waterkloof High School aim for Retief Goosen double

14 Jun 2013

The victorious Waterkloof High School team, winners of the 2012 Retief Goosen SA High Schools Championship, with their coach Christine Hare and Retief Goosen’s father, Theo Goosen; credit Deon Smit / Immanuel Photography.

This year’s Waterkloof High School team may be young, but the defending champions are as determined as their predecessors to taste victory in the annual at the Retief Goosen SA High School Championship.

The four-man side will go into battle against 17 other high school teams in the prestigious national championship at the Fish River Sun Country Club from 16-17 June.

Tshwane golfer Ruan Conradie is relishing the chance to partner debutants JP Cooper, Dylan Kok en Eric Nel and emulate the victory he shared with Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Aubrey Kok and Jacques Havenga at Country Club Johannesburg last year. He described their eight shot victory over Dainfern College as a collective effort.

“The team last year played really well together and that was the key to our success,” he said. “The new team also play as a unit and I think we are as strong as last year’s team. I’m really looking forward to our title defence.”

Coach and manager Christine Hare said this although this year’s side is younger, the four players are very strong-minded and determined to bring the trophy home.

“They are significantly younger than last year’s winning team, but they are gritty competitors, and just as dogged and resolute as last year’s players,” she said.

“Ruan is 18, but JP, Dylan and Eric are only 16 years old. They won their first tournament as a team last year and they won two more this year, so they bring that experience to the championship. As a unit, they play for each other and I think that is their biggest asset. The guys know what is at stake and I’m confident that they will give it everything they’ve got.”

The championship celebrates its third year under the auspices of the South African Golf Association (SAGA) and this marks the second year that Goosen sponsors the SA High School Championship, in association with IMG, the global sports, fashion and media company.

“This tournament is an extension of the great work that is being done in developing the game among the juniors golfers in South Africa and I am delighted to be the patron of the SA High School Championship for a second successive year,” the two-time Major winner Goosen said.

SAGA Junior Golf, Senior Golf and Golf Development coordinator Eden Thompson said that all 13 golf unions in South Africa are permitted to enter two teams each, while schools can enter their league winners or qualify via union qualifying tournaments.”

“We are absolutely delighted that the Retief Goosen SA High School Championship has drawn such incredible interest and is so well supported,” Thompson said.

“It is just fantastic to see how healthy junior golf in South Africa is and we owe a great debt of gratitude to Retief Goosen, IMG and Vodacom for assisting us in providing the juniors with a competitive platform such as this.”

2013 Retief Goosen SA High Schools Championship – Teams

Ben Viljoen High School – Groblersdal, Limpopo

DF Malherbe High School – Port Elizabeth, Eastern Province

Ficksburg High School – Ficksburg; Free State & Northern Cape

Grey College – Bloemfontein, Free State & Northern Cape

Grey High School – Port Elizabeth, Eastern Province

Hudson Park High School – East London, Border

King Edward VII School (KES) – Johannesburg, Central Gauteng

Outeniqua High School – George, Southern Cape

Paarl Boys High – Paarl, Boland

Pietersburg High School – Polokwane, Limpopo

Punt High School – Mossel Bay, Southern Cape

Reddam House – Constantia, Western Province

Rondebosch Boys High – Rondebosch, Western Province

Selborne College – East London, Border

Southdowns College – Irene, Gauteng North

Trinityhouse High – Randburg, Gauteng

Uplands College – White River, Mpumalanga

Waterkloof High School – Erasmuskloof, Gauteng North

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