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Scots depart SA with confidence soaring

09 Mar 2017

Scottish Golf, GolfRSA Juniors and SAGDB teams at the 2017 International Triangular; credit Ernest Blignault.

The Scottish Golf National Squad flew back to Scotland having brought down the curtain on a successful six week sojourn to South Africa with victory in the International Triangular at Houghton Golf Club on Tuesday.

 

On the back of their successful title defence in the 54-hole Team Competition in the African Amateur Championship at Leopard Creek, the Scots also claimed back-to-back victories in the eighth annual team competition between the eight-man teams from the Scottish Golf National Squad, GolfRSA Juniors and the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB).

In addition, world number 16 Connor Syme, Jamie Stewart and Howie finished respectively second, third and fifth in the prestigious African Amateur Championship at Leopard Creek, which was won by fellow Scotsman Liam Johnston.

Johnston also reached the quarter-finals of the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship and tied for fifth in the South African Stroke Play Championship, while Howie tied for seventh.

“This final victory in the International Triangular put an exclamation mark behind another successful and productive trip to South Africa,” said Scottish Golf National Squad coach Ian Rae. “It also means that GolfRSA Juniors and Scotland now have four wins apiece and that should make for a really interesting International Triangular in 2018.

“It is such a privilege for us to come out to South Africa and have our players compete in so many events during our winter training. The players really enjoy the opportunity to finish their tour at the International Triangular so they can see the new SAGDB and junior talent coming through.

“We appreciate the opportunity to contribute to their development by giving them with the chance to play against a Scottish team with international experience. We are extremely grateful to Mr Rupert for his ongoing support of Scottish golf and South African golf development. Our sincere congratulations Mr Rupert and the SAGDB on the work they do across the country.”

The Scots led the foursomes against the GolfRSA Juniors 2.5 – 1.5 and enjoyed a clean sweep against the SAGDB in the morning session.

The Scots dominated the afternoon singles, but GolfRSA Juniors player Kyle de Beer halved against former Sanlam SA Amateur champion Craig Ross in the last game and Evance Vukeya also squared against Ross to collect a half point for the SAGDB.

The GolfRSA Juniors led the SAGDB 4 – 0 and won six of their singles games, but Lwazi Gqira and Andile Adams halved against Bradley de Beer and Bryce Leach, while Free State stand-out Steven le Roux scored a huge point for the SAGDB when he defeated reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht 3 & 1.

The final scoreboard read Scotland 20.5 points, GolfRSA Juniors 12 points and SAGDB 3.5 points.

GolfRSA Juniors team manager Eden Thompson the experience was invaluable for the first time participants.

“Slade Pickering, Dawid Opperman, Bryce Leach, Kyle de Beer and Vaughn van Deventer are all leaving the junior ranks soon, so it was an incredibly exciting experience for them to test themselves against top international talent,” Thompson said.

“Likewise, Bradley de Beer and Deon Germishuys, who represented the GolfRSA Juniors for the first time, enjoyed competing in an international competition of this standard and it opened their eyes to areas of their own games that need some improvement.”

Andre Rossouw was impressed with the fighting spirit shown by the SAGDB squad.

“It wasn’t our best showing, but our boys always enjoy competing in this event,” he said. “It poses such a great opportunity to compete one-on-one against some of the best juniors in South Africa and the cream of the crop from Scotland.

“Although they felt disappointed with their performance, they do realise that they still have a long way to go to raise their golfing standard to meet that of the Scottish team. It was wonderful to have Lwazi back on the team after a three year absence. He and Evance pushed Scotland to the 18th hole and that shows just how well they competed.

“It was great for the other players to watch Steven le Roux in action. Steven was a new cap in the team and he managed to beat Christo Lamprecht, the reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion who is enjoying a fantastic run of form lately.

“It certainly inspired the rest of the team to take the positives from this experience and to go out and improve, especially in the areas of focus and course management. We definitely believe that the International Triangular is a valuable component of the players’ development and a wonderful event to build relationships and to learn from the best.”

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

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