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Vorster leads SA junior challenge in Italy

31 Aug 2016

Christo Lamprecht, Wilco Nienaber, Jayden Schaper and Martin Vorster at the 10th Reply Italian International Under-16 Championship in Italy; credit SAGA.

Southern Cape junior Martin Vorster will lead the four-strong South African challenge when the second of the Reply Italian International Under-16 Championship gets underway in Italy today.

Vorster, Christo Lamprecht, Jayden Schaper and Wilco Nienaber were among 144 juniors from a record 20 countries worldwide that lined up in the 10th edition of this prestigious international championship at Golf Club Biella le Betulle.

Vorster opened with level par 73 to join a group of 10 players tied for fifth and tucked just two shots off the pace from first round leader Tim Mayer from Germany.

Southern Cape’s Lamprecht and Schaper from Ekurhuleni – the respective champions of the 2016 Dimension Data Junior Open and Tshwane Junior Open on the Sunshine Tour Junior Series – both returned 75s to tie for 22nd.

Reigning SA Nomads Boys U-17 champion Nienaber from Free State overcame a crushing start to finish a further shot back in joint 32nd.

“There were some ‘hold your breath’ moments, but overall, it was a really decent day in the office,” said South African Golf Association Golf Integration Manager, Eden Thompson.

“The guys played really well. We could have done without some of the doubles, but they knuckled down with great determination. Martin was not very pleased with the drops on 14 and 15, but he played extremely solid golf for his level par 73.

“Wilco got off to a bad start when he got a 30 metre flyer on the second shot of the day that resulted in a double bogey. From there it was a fight to keep track with par and it was great for him to make the two eagles on the back nine despite two doubles on his card.

“Christo played really mature golf and I was impressed with his resilience to some really bad breaks and Jayden also played solid despite a really slow start. Like Christo and Wilco, a few bad shots early on cost him and he did well to fight and not let par too far out of sight. I think they all felt that they left a few out there and they are keen to improve on their performance today.”

A total of 16 teams entered the Nation’s Cup this year, which is played concurrently with the Stroke Play tournament over the first 36 holes.

“Christo, Jayden and Wilco combined for 150, which left us in tie for sixth in the Team Competition,” Thompson said. “Germany leads the way on 144, with Italy second on 146 and Estonia in third place on 147. We are two shots behind Norway and Finland, who share fourth on 148.”

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

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