SA marches to eighth AAGTC victory

TeamSAGNGUNAIROBI, Kenya (14 October 2015) – Gauteng North’s Jason Smith, Border natives Jade Buitendag and Andre Nel and Aubrey Beckley from North West mounted a spirited final round challenge to chase down South Africa’s third successive title and eighth victory in the Africa Amateur Golf Team Championship in Kenya on Thursday.

South Africa lifted the title in the inaugural edition of the prestigious biennial event in 2001 and claimed subsequent victories in Botswana (2003), Uganda (2005), Namibia (2007), South Africa (2011) and Swaziland in 2013.

The 2015 team extended the country’s proud record with a resounding 18 stroke victory at Limuru Country Club.

The South Africans lagged two strokes off the pace from Zimbabwe, but Southern Cape’s Buitendag fired a superb 67 to put the defending champions on the attack.

Fellow Kenako Academy member Nel boosted their momentum with an equally impressive 68, while Pretoria’s Smith and Aubrey Beckley from Potchefstroom sealed the podium finish with a pair of 73s.

Their combined 208 was the lowest round of this year’s championship and took South Africa’s winning tally to 872.

Kenya closed with 218 to take second and finished two strokes ahead of Zimbabwe, who carded 230.

“Jade had two rough days, but all the work he put into his game on the range on Tuesday and Wednesday paid handsome dividends for the team,” said TuksGolf Academies head coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen.

“Andre played much better than his score suggested. He has a fantastic game and a great attitude and it was good to see him go low. Jason played great all week and Aubrey got off to a fantastic start with three birdies in a row that really helped the team.

“The players were wonderful ambassadors of the game and South Africa and SAGA president Gerhard Conradie and I were really proud to be part of this team.

“They impressed with their hard work ethic, their positive attitudes when the odds were stacked against us and the way they rallied and played for South Africa.”

Beckley also claimed the Individual title on 288 with rounds of 74, 71, 70 and 73.

He finished two strokes clear of Rob Otile from Uganda, who carded rounds of 69, 77, 71 and 73, while Nel finished in third place on 292 with rounds of 74, 75, 75 68.

872 South Africa 216 226 222 208
890 Kenya 220 222 230 218
892 Zimbabwe 225 218 219 230
904 Zambia 220 236 223 225
906 Uganda 222 226 226 231
907 Mauritius 233 231 222 221
932 Tanzania 235 232 233 232
941 Tunisia 235 233 236 237
945 Egypt 244 235 239 227
951 Botswana 253 231 236 231
963 Namibia 242 233 245 243
968 Ivory Coast 241 239 243 245
1003 Seychelles 242 253 254 254

PHOTO – Victorious Team South Africa at the All Africa Golf Team Championships; credit SAGA.