First Junior Africa Challenge a roaring success
South Africa’s leading junior golfers and visitors from nine countries put their talent on display at the end of August during the inaugural Junior Africa Challenge at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa in Bela Bela.
Hosted and presented by S.A. Kids Golf, the international championship drew 80 participants aged between seven and 18 years, who competed in various age divisions.
South African Golf Association president Andre Pieterse praised S.A. Kids Golf for their continued commitment to promoting junior golf in South Africa.
“The SAGA is committed to the development of our junior talent and we are proud to endorse a world-class event like the Junior Africa Challenge,” Pieterse said.
“Every top golfer in the world got his or her start in junior golf and it is only through the dedication of people like Warren Dunbar and his team at S.A. Kids Golf that we can ensure that South Africa’s junior golfers can develop into future stars for this country.
“As the custodians of amateur golf, we know how important competitions like these are to the growth and development of the players.
“I would also like to extend a word of gratitude to the parents of our future stars. We would definitely be remiss if we don’t acknowledge the effort, time and money our players’ parents spend to ensure that our juniors can take advantage of all the competitive opportunities we offer.”
The spectacular opening ceremony set the tone for the week, and featured a line-up of elephants that carried the flags from the different countries, which was then handed over the captains of those countries. Spectators and participants were also treated to a cheetah run before the action got underway.
The area had very little rain in the last seven months and the fairways were fairly dry, yet the superstars of tomorrow posted some remarkable scores and Dylan Naidoo deserves a special mention for his outstanding performance with rounds of 66-71-72 at the championship layout.
Other impressive scores came from Hennie du Plessis 71, Sentanio Minnie 71, Xander Prinsloo 71, Norman Seton 72, Casey Jarvis 70, 68, Brandon Weir 71, Ivan Verster 72 and in the nine-hole competition, Ockert Brits 36 and Amilkar Bhana 36.
And a special word of congratulations to nine-year old Dylan Melville, who achieved a hole-in-one.
The top three finishers in each age group were awarded green status, which automatically qualifies them for the European Junior Championships in Scotland and the US Kids World Junior Championships in USA in 2014.
THE TROPHY WINNERS
Boys 7 and under
120 Reinhardt Uys 39-43-38
113 Ockert Brits 38-36-39
227 Ivan Verster 72-74-81
214 Casey Jarvis 70-76-68
233 Janco Vogel 82-74-77
237 Tiger Malabie 78-79-80
229 Jordon Burnand 76-76-77
232 Chandler Shaw 75-82-75
209 Dylan Naidoo 66-71-72
Girls 8 and Under
114 Kiera Floyed 39-38-37
263 Senayah Moodliar 84-90-89
252 Kaitlin Fensham 80-81-91
236 Kaiyuree Moodley 77-80-79
269 Anye Verster 98-87-84