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SA’s Jarvis goes wire-to-wire in England

10 Aug 2017

2017 English Boys Under-14 Open Amateur Stroke Play champion Casey Jarvis; credit Leaderboard Photography / England Golf.

Casey Jarvis celebrated South Africa’s second victory in England this season when he captured the English Boys Under-14 Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship title on Thursday.

The 14-year-old Jarvis from Boksburg produced a wire-to-wire performance at the Manchester Golf Club to lift the celebrated Reid Trophy on a winning score of four under 212.

South Africa’s top ranked Kyle McClatchie from Benoni secured the country’s first trophy when he won the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play by one shot in May. Jarvis made it two wins for the GolfRSA National Squad when he birdied the final hole for a 74 and a two stroke victory over Jose Ballester from Spain.

“I am super proud of myself,” Jarvis said. “After I tied for fifth last year, I was determined to do better this year. I took the lead in the first round and never lost it. I overcame all the challenges.”

Jarvis headed into the final day with a four shot lead after rounds of 68 and 70 and moved to seven under with his first birdie of the day at the par five second. However, he dropped three successive shots from five to seven before he turned the tide with a birdie at the par five ninth.

“I laid up at the second with an eight-iron and I hit sand-wedge to five feet,” said Jarvis.

“I hit my drive into the long stuff at five. I had to chip out and couldn’t up-and-down to save par. At six I was in the middle of the fairway, but my three-wood finished right of the green and I didn’t up-and-down to save par. At seven, I hit gap-wedge over the green and finished with another bogey.

“I think I got a little tense on the front nine, but I settled down with the birdie at nine. I hit a good drive, and a five-wood right of the green and I chipped it to a foot and holed the putt. I knew I was still leading, but I didn’t really think about it. I just wanted to try to limit the mistakes.”

Jarvis was oblivious to the fact that Ballester was mounting a serious charge. The Spaniard racked up five birdies on the front nine and got within a shot of the South African with a 68 that included a birdie-eagle combination at 13 and 14 and a birdie at 17.

“I had no idea about Jose, because he was playing way in front of me, so I thought I had a five shot lead,” Jarvis said.

“I had a three-putt bogey at 13 and put myself in the long stuff again at 15 for another bogey. It was only when I reached 18 that a scorer told me Jose shot 68 and he finished on two under. I realised I only had a one shot lead and I needed par at the last hole to guarantee the win.

“I hit a great drive and had 148 metres left to the pin. I hit an eight-iron eight feet and holed the birdie putt for the win. I didn’t play my best golf in the last round, but I hung tough. I recovered well and made the birdies and pars that counted.”

Jarvis said that winning the national championship in England surpasses his victory in the 10-11 age category of the 2015 Optimist International Championships in the United States.

“This is by far my biggest achievement, because this win was against tough competition in really tough conditions,” he said. “That’s why it means so much to me. It really inspires me for the future.

“I’m very grateful for my parents, Kevin and Kim, my coach Grant Veenstra, and GolfRSA. I couldn’t have done this without your support.”

Jarvis travelled to England with fellow Ekurhuleni junior, 13-year-old Christopher Bagnall from the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate, who tied for 38th in his debut with rounds of 75, 76 and 77.

“I want to thank the Bagnall family for letting me travel with them and for cheering me on this week,” said Jarvis. “It was so great to have home crowd support out there and I’m super stoked that Chris made the cut, as well.

“We are going to Scotland next and Chris and I will be competing in the Loretto School Scottish Boys Under-14 Championship. We are having the best time competing against these international juniors.”

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.

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