SA off to solid start at All-Africa Junior

IMG-20150505-WA0002_GNGUSouth Africa combined for a one-under-par 218 in the first round of the All-Africa Junior Golf Championships to start their title 17th consecutive title chase on solid footing at Lusaka Golf Club on Tuesday.

Marco Steyn from Central Gauteng led the South African attack against Uganda, Zimbabwe and the host nation and carded a one-under-par 72.

The young gun was two over when he holed a long putt for par at the eight, and making the save gave his round some momentum.

“It was a breezy day and was definitely not a pushover,” national coach, Llewellyn van Leeuwen said.

“Marco chipped in for eagle at the 10th and made another solid putt at the 11th for birdie. He made an excellent up-and-down for birdie at the 12th to move to two under, but dropped a shot on the home stretch to finish one under. I think he can’t wait to get out there again tomorrow.”

Dylan Naidoo from Central Gauteng and Gauteng North’s Keegan de Lange both signed for 73s.

“Dylan was solid through the front nine and turned one over, but not much was happening for him,” Von Leeuwen said.

“He rushed his routines between the 10th and 12th and made three straight bogeys, but slowed things down and that got the smile back on his dial. He played the last three par-fives in four under, capping a great stretch with a perfectly executed chip for eagle at the 18th to finish in style.

“Keegan got off to a birdie-birdie start, but had five soft bogeys to reach the 12th at three over. He also came back strong on the back nine to fight back for a 73.”

Herman Loubser from Boland, the final member of the team, deleted the round from his memory banks just as soon as he handed in his card.

“Herman had one of those days where absolutely everything went wrong,” the coach said.

“We agreed to give him a mulligan, because his score didn’t count under format. He promised us a comeback tomorrow and I believe he will pull it off. He is a gritty fighter and great attitude will see him come back strong.”

The team spent the afternoon at the driving range where the coach put the players through their paces.

“We had a session to refine our course tactics ahead of the second round after practice,” Van Leeuwen said. “The boys are very motivated to get under par at this layout and I definitely expect them to come out event stronger on Wednesday.”

218 South Africa
232 Zimbabwe
237 Kenya
238 Zambia
245 Swaziland
249 Uganda
257 Mauritius
252 Tunisia
258 Namibia
268 Botswana

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.