The South African Qualifier and Final of the 22nd World Amateur Golfers Championship brought together players from around South Africa, as amateurs golfers fiercely competed for their chance to represent Team SA in this year’s World Final in Durban from October 22 to 29.
The SA Qualifier and Final took place in Pretoria at the prestigious Zwartkop Country Club where players were met with sunny and hot conditions. On the first qualifying day, players arrived at the tee box determined to win a place on the team, resulting in a highly contested finish, with a number of count-out results making the difference.
The field was whittled down with only the top four from each handicap group, namely 0 – 5, 6 – 10, 11 -15, 16 – 20, 21 – 25, making it into the South African Final. On day two, the Final swung into action as players readied themselves for some fierce competition. Familiarity with the playing conditions and course would ultimately prevail on the day, where the local golfers from the region took advantage of local knowledge to edge out the competition and fill the five top spots.
Johannes Mnyandu in the 0 – 5 handicap group, started in 3rd place at the beginning of the SA Final and charged his way up the field, claiming his Team spot on a well-deserved 69 net finish. Not to be outdone, Tyrone Armist claimed his Team place in the 6 – 10 group on a hard earned 66.
In the 11 – 15 handicap group, Marius Jacobs could be seen picking up the tempo as he landed his place in Team SA on a 65 net. The last two places in the 16 – 20 handicap group, and 21 – 25 were won by Pierre Heyneke and Lionel Reddy, who each secured their spots finishing on 73 and 67 net respectively.
With the hunt for Team SA having come to a spectacular end, all eyes now look to the 22nd World Amateur Golfers Championship Final, where the Team will have the opportunity to bring home the Championship Title and Trophy for the 3rd time in a row.
In his address to Team SA, Tournament spokesperson, Craig Clay-Smith paid tribute to Tourism Kwazulu-Natal for the incredible support they and the leadership of the province have given the event since it was first staged in Kwazulu-Natal in 2011. He stated although the Tournament was played last year in Turkey where conditions required it to return to SA for 2016, there could be no better place to play golf.
He went on to add that with a proven record in the past of being able to host this world-acclaimed amateur golfing event, coupled with our warm hospitality and the world-class golf courses in the host province of Kwazulu-Natal, the championship would once again be played under superb conditions with the added bonus of international players enjoying the unique tourism opportunities offered in the region.
World Amateur Golfers Championship tournament Stalwart, Master PGA Professional Dale Hayes was on hand to announce team SA and advised the players that the only rule was that it was compulsory for them to enjoy their golf. He concluded by congratulating the event owners in South Africa for continuing to keep the event alive and growing the game of golf in our country.