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Golf | Amateur Golf

Jayden Schaper © Ernest Blignault

Son and Schaper all set for Duke of York



Two of South Africa’s brightest golf prospects have arrived in the United Kingdom to fly the flag for South Africa in the prestigious Duke of York Young Champions in England this week.

South Africa’s leading juniors Woo-Ju Son from Gauteng and Jayden Schaper from Ekurhuleni will join a world-class field in the top international championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Wirral from 12-14 September.

The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy, hosted by His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, is sanctioned by the R&A. It carries world amateur ranking points and entry into this highly-rated international 54-hole stroke play championship is by invitation only.

“The championship has a select field comprising the 2017 winners of Under-18 National Championships around the world, as well as players who won selected major golfing events the preceding year,” said Women's Golf South Africa president Sally Greasley.

“Woo-Ju qualified by way of her Nomads SA Girls Championship victory and Jayden with his superb double victory in the Nomads Boys Under-19 Championship.

“The tournament is always hosted at Open Championship venues and we are so grateful for the opportunity afforded South Africa to give our top juniors the chance to compete against a high quality field in a world class international event.”

Son and Schaper both gained experience on the international stage over the last two years and Greasley believes they will be confident going into battle against the cream of junior in England.

“Woo-Ju competed in the R&A Junior Championship last year,” said Greasley. “This biennial event serves as the curtain-raiser to the Open Championship.

“The R&A invites its 152 affiliates to enter their leading boy and girl golfers aged 16 and under. Last year’s event drew 152 competitors from a record 80 countries. Woo-Ju gained a lot from the experience and it has helped her to excel this season.

“She was the leading amateur in the SA Women’s Open on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and racked up eight victories on the junior and senior circuit. She also competed in the IMG Academy Junior World Championships in July, where she tied for 15th in a strong field at Torrey Pines.

“Jayden represented South Africa four times in team events this season and on an individual level, he won a junior Nomads event, two Sunshine Tour Junior Series tournaments and completed the Nomads SA Boys Grand Slam. He recently tied for 24th in the Junior PLAYERS Championship, which earned him a spot on the International Team for the Junior Presidents Cup.

“They are certainly well-equipped to handle an event of this stature and no doubt competing in the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy will be yet another unique opportunity for them to gain further experience by testing themselves against top international competition.”



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