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Ros­souw Loub­ser – 2002 SA Am­a­teur cham­pion

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Amateur Scene -

Ge­orge Golf Club hosted the SA Am­a­teur for the first time in 2002, and it pro­duced an emo­tional vic­tory for Lieu­tenant-Colonel Ros­souw Loub­ser, who at 39 be­came the fifth old­est Am­a­teur cham­pion. A lec­turer in fire­power with the SA Air Force in Pre­to­ria, Loub­ser’s sur­prise vic­tory kick-started a five-year pe­riod that saw him earn na­tional colours, turn pro­fes­sional at age 44, and win twice in his rookie sea­son on the Sun­shine Tour in 2006.

Loub­ser (pic­tured­be­low), then play­ing out of Ser­vices GC, fin­ished T-9 that week in the SA Stroke­play (the Stroke­play and Am­a­teur were held to­gether un­til 2008), won by English­man Gary Wol­sten­holme. In the match play he despatched two na­tional play­ers (Ryan Tip­ping and Roux Burger) en route to the fi­nal where he beat Western Prov­ince’s Grant Veen­stra 1up, hol­ing a two-me­tre par putt at the 36th hole in front of his fam­ily.

Af­ter his break­out rookie sea­son on the Sun­shine Tour – earn­ing R236 911 to fin­ish 39th on the 2006 Or­der of Merit, Loub­ser strug­gled be­fore los­ing his card in 2011. His fi­nal pro­fes­sional ap­pear­ance, at age 50, was in the 2012 Se­nior Bri­tish Open at Turn­berry where he fin­ished T-59.

Renowned as a great put­ter dur­ing his am­a­teur ca­reer, the flat­stick de­serted Loub­ser as he ap­proached 50, and forced him to quit the pro cir­cuit.

Loub­ser to­day works at a prop­erty man­age­ment firm in Pre­to­ria. He had spent 25 years in the Air Force, where his wife Denise has worked for 30 years. Loub­ser plays golf “once ev­ery cou­ple of months,” but still man­ages a scratch hand­i­cap at Zwartkop. The 2002 SA Am­a­teur week was a lifechanger for Loub­ser, which he lists along with be­ing se­lected for South Africa as one of his proud­est mo­ments in golf. “I go on hol­i­day to Harten­bos in the South­ern Cape ev­ery year and al­ways play a round at Ge­orge,” he said. “I am so heart­ened by the wel­come I al­ways re­ceive from the club. They still re­mem­ber me!”

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