De Lange & Cooper named for French Test

SA U19 Boys Golf ChampionshipKeegan de Lange and JP Cooper have been named to a six-man side that will represent South Africa in a two-day Test against a French team from 27 to 28 January.

The South African Golf Association (SAGA) also named Herman Loubser from Boland, Southern Cape’s Jovan Rebula, Marco Steyn and Dylan Naidoo from Central Gauteng to face the French at St Francis Links.

SAGA Golf Integration Manager, Eden Thompson, said the French Golf Union requested six, instead of four players this year, and SAGA was happy to oblige.

“Last year, we fielded a team of four players that beat the French at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate,” said.

“We were very pleased to increase the team, because this offers us the opportunity to give six of our top juniors the chance to gain experience against top international amateurs.”

De Lange, a Nomads National Order of Merit winner in 2013, had two close calls in 2014 and converted his runner up finishes with a three-shot victory in the season-opening Dr Bam Nomads National Order of Merit at Pollak Park Golf Club last week.

SA U19 Boys-2938_JPCooper2Over the last year, fellow Pretoria golfer Cooper has quietly worked his way to the number six spot in the Junior Amateur rankings.

The 17-year-old Wingate Park player finished second to Rebula at Royal Durban. He kept his ascendancy on track with a tie for sixth in the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play Championship and downed fellow Gauteng North golfers Rosswell Sinclair and De Lange to reach the Match Play semi-finals. He took fifth in the Nomads SA Boys U-17 Championship and had top 15 finishes in the North and South Championship and the Nomads Order of Merit Inland tournament at Silver Lakes.

In early October, Cooper and Loubser represented South Africa in the Boys U-14-17 category in the Minsheng Beijing Junior Open at the Tian’ An Golf Club in Beijing, China.

Loubser tied for and Cooper claimed a share of 12th.

SAGA president Gerhard Conradie welcomed the increase in team numbers this year.

“We appreciate any opportunity for our juniors to challenge at international level, because competitive experience is crucial to their development,” Conradie said.

“The Test represents a great opportunity for the juniors to come together as a team for South Africa, but still gain experience at individual level. They are all very excited about the challenge ahead and we look forward to see how they measure up against the top players from Europe.”

Gauteng North’s Junior Player of the Year Rosswell Sinclair has been named the non-travelling reserve.

PHOTOS: Keegan de Lange and JP Cooper have been named to a six-man team to play the French in a two-day Test at St Francis Links at the end of January; credit Rogan Ward.