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SA golf trio geared for Summer Universiade

06 Jul 2015

The USSA team competing in the 2015 Summer Universiade in Gwangju, Korea; credit USSA.

GWANGJU, Korea (6 July 2015) – Top ranked golfers Teaghan Gauche, Jason Smith and Andrew van der Knaap are set to fly the flag for South Africa in the 2015 Summer Universiade in Korea from 8-11 July.

The TuksSport Golf Academy trio forms part of a 114-strong delegation from tertiary education institutions across the country who are competing in seven sport codes against the best athletes around the globe.

The 2015 edition of this multi-sport showpiece in Gwangju has drawn nearly 20,000 athletes from 170 countries, who will contest across 21 sport codes.

“We are very proud that could provide University Sport South Africa with the financial assistance to send a team to the 28th edition of the Summer Universiade,” said South African Golf Association president Gerhard Conradie.

“The Summer Universiade, also known as the World Student Games, is the biggest international tertiary education event of its kind in the world and comparable to the Olympic Games.

“International experience is invaluable in a golfer’s development and we are pleased to give three of our top ranked players the opportunity to compete on this prestigious international stage. We strongly believe that Teaghan, Jason and Andrew will benefit greatly from this exposure.

“We are also very pleased that Llewellyn van Leeuwen, TuksGolf Club & Academies head coach, could accompany the team to Gwangju alongside Johan Steyn, head of program.

“We believe Lew will also profit from this trip and that the experience will feed into our National Squad programme. We wish the team the best of luck and trust that they will fly the South African flag with honour and pride.”

Smith represented South Africa in the 2014 World Amateur Team Championship in Japan. The Irene golfer was impressed by the volume of athletes, the quality of the venues and the size of the athletes’ village.

“I thought that playing in the Eisenhower Trophy last year was big, but during the opening ceremony I realised that representing South Africa in the Summer Universiade is massive,” he said.

“You are part of Team South Africa, so not just representing golf, but all sports in South Africa.”

The team will line up at the Naju Gold Lake Country Club against 23 teams in a 72-hole stroke play teams competition

In addition to golf, the South African athletes are competing in soccer, rowing, athletics, gymnastics, swimming and shooting.

“We were only given access to the golf course on Monday, so we took the opportunity to support some of our fellow athletes following the opening ceremony on Saturday,” Steyn said.

“The village is buzzing with nearly 20,000 athletes, the venues are jam-packed and there is a real festival vibe, but the sheer size and volume of everything here in Gwangju drives home just how massive the annual Summer Universiade is,” said Steyn.

“It is a world-class festival of sports and cultures. While the games showcase talent, the power of team work, team spirit and true sportsmanship, it also gives athletes and spectators the chance of a lifetime to connect on an inter-cultural level with all the other activities going on.”
Team SA finished eighth in the 162 nation field in 2014 edition in Kazan, Russia and brought home a total of 14 medals (seven gold, three silver and four bronze). 

PHOTO – The USSA team competing in the 2015 Summer Universiade in Gwangju, Korea; credit USSA. From left to right – Johan Steyn (TuksGolf Club & Academies head of program, Teaghan Gauche, Jason Smith, Llewellyn van Leeuwen (TuksGolf Club & Academies head coach) and Andrew van der Knaap). 

For more information, visit the official website at www.gwangju2015.com 

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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