SA teams primed for Junior World Cup

SANLAM AMATURE GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPSTOYOTA CITY, Japan (4 June 2015) – Gauteng North’s Keegan de Lange is among seven of South Africa’s most promising stars that will line up against the world’s top ranked juniors in the prestigious Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Aichi-Prefecture, Japan this June.

The 23rd edition of the world’s premier junior golf international team championship has drawn 84 entries from across six continents.

The Boys Competition will be contested between 15 countries, while the Girls Competition will be decided between eight countries at the Ishino Course at Chukyo Golf Club from 16-19 June.

The Toyota Junior Golf World Cup, supported by JAL, is the world’s only junior golf championship in which national teams – winners of regional qualifiers held across six continents – compete for the world championship.

“This is only the second year that the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup will host a Girls and Boys Competition concurrently and we are absolutely thrilled to send a team to this prestigious event,” said Womens Golf South Africa president, Karen Olivant.

“Our team will comprise of reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur and Stroke Play champion and number one ranked Ivanna Samu, as well as Kaleigh Telfer and Natasha Carlsson, who are ranked second and fourth in our Junior Rankings.”

The local trio will line up against Japan, who won inaugural Girls’ Toyota Junior Golf World Cup title, as well as Colombia, France, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States.

“We are extremely excited to see how they handle themselves in Japan,” said Olivant, who will accompany the girls team.

“This championship is a magnificent opportunity for our girls and of course we hope they fare well, however, the main focus will be for our players to gain experience competing against top international players and to learn from the experience.”

Defending champions Norway will lead a strong line-up in the Boys Competition, including, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, the United States and Zimbabwe.

Reigning Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play champion Dylan Naidoo will lead the local challenge alongside De Lange, Marco Steyn and Herman Loubser, respectively ranked second, third and fourth in the South African Golf Association Junior Rankings.

The quartet chased down South Africa’s 17th consecutive All-Africa Junior Golf Championship title in Zambia last month to book their spot in the prestigious Toyota Junior Golf World Cup.

Silver medallists Jack Allard, David Amm, Justin Kersten and Kiren Vincent will fly the flag for Zimbabwe.

South African Golf Association president Gerhard Conradie, who negotiated a berth for the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship runners-up, as well as a spot for South Africa in the field of the Girls Championship, will accompany the boys teams to Japan, while national coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen will serve with both teams.

“We are extremely pleased to take two teams to the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup this year and we excited for Zimbabwe, who will make their second appearance in Japan,” Conradie said.

“We are quite isolated from international competition in Africa and hence we welcome any chance to give our players, especially our emerging junior talent, the opportunity to compete on the international stage.

“It is fantastic to see the wide global participation in the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup and the opportunity it offers to so many juniors to benefit from this international competition.”

The Boys Competition follows a four-players-count-three scores format and a three-players-count-two scores format in the Girls Competition.

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PHOTO: Gauteng North’s Keegan de Lange will represent South Africa in the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan; credit Catherine Kotze.