Young Free State golfer makes history
Attie van Wyk became the first player in the four-year- history of the Glacier by Sanlam Junior Series to defend the Free State/Northern Cape title when he won the Elsabe Hefer Tournament at Bloemfontein Golf Club on Sunday.
The 15-year-old Van Wyk, a student at Grey College, signed for a one-under-par 71 to win the A Division by a single stroke.
And his younger brother Enrique, who last week played in the South African Disabled Open and finished seventh in his category, took second place in the C Division on Sunday.
“It feels great to be the first to defend this title, especially because I didn’t think I had it in me,” said Van Wyk.
“I didn’t have any expectations of defending and I thought the scores were going to be really low. But when I made my birdie at the 10th and was level for the round, I realised I could do it.”
Van Wyk started well with a birdie at the first, but two bogeys took him to the turn on one over. But he came home with a strong back nine, including birdies at holes 10, 13, 14 and 16 and only two bogeys.
“My putting really helped me. I holed some long putts,” said the left-handed golfer, who unsurprisingly is inspired by the Free State’s favourite golfing son, Jbe Kruger.
“His work ethic and character really inspires me. It’s also nice to see somebody from the Free State doing really well on Tour because it gives you hope that you can do the same.”
Van Wyk is already a standout performer for his province and came into this tournament with a victory in the Sand River Junior Open in Virginia three weeks ago.
A DIVISION (Handicap 1 – 6)
1. Attie van Wyk 71
2. Danus Kruger 72
3. Christopher Hibbert 73
Best Nett: Chante van Zyl 76
B DIVISION (Handicap 7 – 18)
1. Andy Tsai 75
2. Chante de Lange 78
3. Paballo Nkomo 80
Best Nett: Charl Olivier 71
C DIVISION (Handicap 19 – 36)
1. Jacky Schoeman 39 points
2. Enrique van Wyk 37 points
3. Herman Fourie 35 points (count out)