Nienaber to face top local talent in Northern Cape Open
23 Mar 2017
In-form GolfRSA National Squad member Wilco Nienaber will be hunting a third victory this season in the Northern Cape Open, which tees off at Kimberley Golf Club today.
The 16-year-old from Bloemfontein Golf Club has rocketed to fifth in the South African Golf Association Junior Rankings following victories in the Nomads Inland National Order of Merit event at Benoni Country Club in January and the Curro SA Juniors International at Durbanville Golf Club earlier this month.
However, to gain his first victory on the South African Golf Association’s Open Amateur circuit, the Free State teenager will have to stave off strong opposition from local heroes Andries Kori, Nico Jacobs and fellow junior Joshua Edwards at Kimberley Golf Club.
Kori leads the Northern Cape Golf Union Order of Merit, but the 41-year-old stalwart has the added advantage of knowing every nook and cranny of the championship layout he tends to daily as the greenkeeper at Kimberley Golf Club.
Kori was the union’s top performer for the union in the stroke play qualifier of the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship at Humewood in February and showed his stealth when he outclassed a number of professional competitors in the recent Van Druten Open, firing a final round 65 to triumph at Sishen Golf Club.
Jacobs, who ranks fifth, is another seasoned campaigner who has represented the old Karoo Union (now Northern Cape Golf Union) a total of nine times at SA Country Districts level.
Eighth ranked Edwards is the union’s leading junior and the Northern Cape High School matriculant will be looking for a strong performance in his home Open to secure a spot on the Northern Cape Golf Union team for the 2017 SA Country Districts.
Nienaber can also expect a strong challenge from former SA Junior Inter-Provincial team-mate Therion Nel.
Nel successfully defended his Northern Cape Championship title just four weeks ago. The Bloemfontein golfer fired rounds of 70, 72 and 71 at Kimberley Golf Club to win by two strokes from Schoemans Park’s Juran Dreyer.
Other local favourites on the watch list this week are Daniel Kruger from Upington Golf Club and Basil Kruger from Kimberley Golf Club, respectively ranked second and sixth on the Northern Cape Golf Union Order of Merit.
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The South African Golf Association and Womens Golf South Africa have joined forces to form GolfRSA, a new unified company that will professionally administer the commercial interests and golf operations of amateur golf in South Africa.
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