De Lange named to All-Africa Junior Golf Champs team

SANLAM AMATURE GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPSGauteng North’s Keegan de Lange will lead the four-man team in South Africa’s title defence at the prestigious All-Africa Junior Golf Championships in Zambia this May.

The South African Golf Association (SAGA) selected De Lange, Boland’s Herman Loubser and Central Gauteng pair Marco Steyn and Dylan Naidoo to represent the country in Africa’s most prestigious junior team championship.

De Lange is currently ranked third in the SAGA Junior Rankings, while Loubser, Steyn and Naidoo are respectively ranked fourth to sixth.

SAGA Golf Integration Manager, Eden Thompson, believes the team is definitely up for the challenge at Lusaka Golf Club from 4-8 May.

“We are very excited to send this team to chase down South Africa’s 17th consecutive title,” Thompson said.

“All four player were members of the junior team that contested a two-day Test against a junior side from France in February and they all acquitted themselves very well to secure a resounding 14-4 victory for South Africa at St Francis Links.

“Marco, Dylan and Herman did an outstanding job for the SAGA Junior team in the Triangular the following month to claim the country’s third successive victory in the annual contest against Scotland and the South African Golf Development Board.

“All four players have also made their mark this season with superb individual performances and we are confident that the team will do us proud in Lusaka.”

De Lange followed a three-stroke victory in the season-opening Dr Bam Nomads National Order of Merit at Pollak Park Golf Club on the Junior circuit in January with another podium finish in the Free State Open on the Open Amateur circuit last month.

Steyn and Naidoo were star performers for Central Gauteng and Modderfontein in teams events last year.

They excelled in the 2014 Challenge Cup Teams Tournament and the SA Under-19 Inter-Provincial and performed brilliantly in the Louis Oosthuizen SA Junior Club Teams Championship.

Both players excelled for Modderfontein Golf Club to help their team to victory in the, while 2014 Northern Amateur stroke play champion Steyn also secured back-to-back titles for TuksSport Golf Academy with a play-off victory in the South African High School Championship.

Loubser has only been competing on the South African amateur circuit since early 2014, but immediately made his mark when he won the Nomads SA Boys U-15 Championship by six strokes on debut.

He claimed to a top 10 finish in the Srixon/Cleveland Eastern Province Stroke Play Championship in January and recently broke through for his first victory on the Open Amateur circuit in the ProShop Northern Amateur Stroke Play Qualifier.

“All four players are great competitors and very keen to keep South Africa’s proud record in this championship alive,” Thompson said. “We certainly believe they are up for the task at hand.”

The SA Under-19 team will be accompanied by SAGA president Gerhard Conradie and national coach, Llewellyn van Leeuwen, from TuksSport Golf Academy.

The reserve is Kyle McClatchie, a member of the victorious team that claimed a 35-stroke victory over Zimbabwe at Chainama Hills Golf Club last year.

PHOTO: Keegan de Lange will lead a four-man SA U-19 Team to defend South Africa’s title in the All-Africa Junior Golf Championships in Zambia this May; credit Catherine Kotze / SASPA