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Chip Shots with Jayden Schaper

07 Aug 2017

Jayden Schaper; credit Gavin Withers Photography

Believe in what you want to achieve. It’s the seven words he lives by, it’s the principle that defines the way he tackles golf, school and life and it is this simple credo that guided Jayden Schaper to achieve the unconceivable this 2017.

Schaper is often the smallest guy in his three ball. Short and slender, he looks like he should be more at home on the track, running in sprints, but just like South Africa’s legendary Gary Player, this slight 16-year-old from Benoni regularly defies the odds.

In July, the GolfRSA National Squad member won the Nomads SA Boys Under-17 Championship by one stroke at Rustenburg Golf Club and this victory ended a four year long quest. He etched his name in the annals of South African golfing history as the first golfer to achieve the Junior Grand Slam.

And Schaper isn't done yet. The country’s number one junior has set himself two more goals this season: to guide the junior SA team to victory in the Fellowship Cup Test against India in August and to make the International Team for the first Junior Presidents Cup in September.

FULL NAME
Jayden Trey Schaper 

BORN
15 March 2001

RESIDENCE
Morehill, Benoni

SCHOOL
Homezone Education Centre

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Winning the Nomads SA Boys U-13 Championship gave me confidence and the goal to win all the SA Boys Championships. I won the SA Boys U-15 last year, and achieved South African’s first Junior Grand Slam when I won the SA Boys U-17 and SA Boys U-19 double this year. 

Competed in the Italian Under-16 Championship in 2016

Won the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship with Luca Filippi, Christo Lamprecht and Garrick Higgo and went on to represent South Africa in the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup. 

TELL US FIVE THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU
I like being around my friends. I don't enjoy being alone.  
I love Play Station, but l like playing with friends. It bores me to play on my own
I really enjoy visiting different places.
I can't go long without playing some kind of sport. But not rugby. That’s one sport I can't do.
I listen to a LOT of music. 

STILL ON MY BUCKET LIST
To play Augusta National and the Old Course at St Andrews
I would like to go shark cage diving. 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO GOLF?
My dad (Ryan) was playing golf at San Lameer Country Club. I was around two years old and he bought me a set of plastic golf clubs to keep me entertained. That was my introduction to golf.
As I got older and showed that I really loved golf, my dad drove me to Benoni Country Club every single day so I could hit golf balls and practice my chipping and putting. If it wasn’t for my dad Ryan, I wouldn’t be competing in this sport.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?
My role model is Sergio Garcia. He always looks and acts very professional on and off the golf course and even know he has had many tough breaks, especially in the Majors, he worked through the tough times. He overcame them over and over and he has always been around the top. 

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF YOUR GAME
My biggest strength is my ball striking and getting from tee to green. I can manage myself really well around the greens and I make a lot of putts. I feel very comfortable under pressure and I’ve learned how to make the right decisions. I don’t have anything I would call a weakness, but I continually try to improve on all the aspects of my game.

BEST, AND WORST TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
My best travel experience was Italy in 2016. The trip showed me that I can compete at a higher level and I loved sharing the experience with really good friends.
My worst experience was when I went to compete in China. No-one spoke English and I ended up with a lot of wrong rulings – not a very fun experience. 

TOURNAMENT YOU MOST WANT TO WIN
The Masters, because of what you can learn and the experience of just playing at Augusta National.  

WHAT SONG WOULD THEY PLAY TO ANNOUNCE YOU AT THE FIRST TEE?
Hall of fame by the Script feat. will.i.am 

FAVOURITE HOME COOKED MEAL
Pasta, mince and garlic bread.

THREE MUST HAVES IF YOU’RE STRANDED ON AN ISLAND
Family and friends, because it will get quite boring very quickly being alone
My clubs and balls, or I'll have nothing to do
My speaker, ‘cause I enjoy music.

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD
Sporty.

WEIRDEST THING YOU’VE EVER EATEN?
Nope. Nothing. I always like to know exactly what I'm eating, so nothing weird has passed these lips.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?
I grew up watching Tiger Woods and that’s all I ever wanted to be - a pro golfer.

THREE WISHES
To always be positive.
To be heathy and fit for the rest of my life.
For everyone to be equal.

TELL US TWO THINGS YOU’RE REALLY GOOD AT
Sports and solving problems. 

GO TO CLUB?
Gap wedge-I can hit any shot with it and it is easy to control 

WHO WOULD BE IN YOUR DREAM PAIRING?
Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, my dad and myself.

AND IN YOUR FANTASY FOURBALL?
My dad and I with Seve Ballesteros and Arnold Palmer

WHICH ACTOR WOULD YOU PIC TO PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE?
Mark Wahlberg, because he has a strong character.

BIGGEST FEAR?
Not achieving my goals. 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNGSTERS JUST STARTING THE GAME?
You have to enjoy what you are doing and you have to make it fun. Set goals for yourself and make sure you have people around you who will support you and help you achieve your goals.
Believe in what you want to achieve.

 

 

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