Venter thwarted at KZN Amateur Champs

SA U19 Boys Golf Championship24 August 2015 – Boland junior Herman Loubser eliminated Albert Venter from Gauteng North 4 & 2 in the 36-hole final to lift the 2015 KwaZulu-Natal Amateur Championship at Selborne Country Club on Sunday.

The victory was his first on the South African Amateur Association’s Open Amateur provincial circuit and the 16-year-old Theewaterskloof golfer said the timing could not have been better.

“It’s really nice to go back to the Italian Under-16 Championship carrying some form,” Loubser said.

“Last year we were all like deer caught in the headlights when we got there. The course is really tight and heavily bunkered, so having prior knowledge of the course is definitely a plus this year.

“When you go up against some of the top junior golfers in the world at such a tight layout, you have to be at the top of your game and that’s why I am stoked about winning the KZN Amateur.

“I was struggling with my swing last year, so missing the cut shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it was still a huge disappointment. This time I will have some confidence, especially after getting past Albert in a tough final match.”

Loubser.dispatched local favourite Siyanda Mwandla 2 & 1 in round one, defeated Central Gauteng’s Tyrone Gibb 1-Up in round two, knocked out Andrew van der Knaap 3 & 2 in the quarter-final and downed Central Gauteng’s Andi Dill 2-up to reach the semi-final against Venter.

Venter’s casualties included Gavin Sole from KwaZulu-Natal (2 & 1), David McIntyre from Central Gauteng (2 & 1), fellow Gauteng North golfer Reinhardt Blaauw (3 & 2) and Southern Cape Open champion Carlo O’Reilly (2 & 1).

“Albert claimed a huge scalp when he beat Gavin in the first round and he defeated some other to players on the way to the final, so I knew I was in for a tough match,” Loubser said.

The lead changed hands three times over the first 17 holes, but Venter took command with a birdie at 18 to turn 1-up. However, Loubser squared the match with a birdie at the 20th and drained an eight-footer for eagle at the par-five third to edge into the lead.

“Albert hit into the hazard off the tee at the 24th hole and took a double bogey and I made par to lead 2-up, but then he birdied the 30th hole to cut my lead to 1-up,” the reigning Nomads SA Boys U-17 champion explained.

“I nailed two 15-footers for birdies at 31 and 32 to lead 3-up and the match wrapped up at the 34th hole when Albert drove his tee shot out of bounds. It was a great battle of wills and I really enjoyed playing him in the final.”

PHOTO – Albert Venter from Centurion Country Club; credit Catherine Kotze / SASPA