THINK YOUNG, PLAY HARD

Just a month af­ter his 18th birth­day, Her­man Loub­ser won the Sun­shine Tour Qual­i­fy­ing School at Rand­park to earn his pro­fes­sional play­ing priv­i­leges.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - In­ter­viewed by Barry Havenga

Q School win­ner Her­man Loub­ser.

ON A FOR­TU­NATE CHANGE IN THE TOUR SCHED­ULE

En­ter­ing the Sun­shine Tour Q School was only made pos­si­ble be­cause the tour changed the dates of the tour­na­ment. Usu­ally it’s in De­cem­ber or Jan­uary, but they moved it to March af­ter the 2016 sea­son was ex­tended by a cou­ple of months. I only turned 18 in Fe­bru­ary, the min­i­mum age for en­try. ON HORSES FOR COUR­SES Af­ter win­ning Q School I im­me­di­ately checked the tour­na­ment sched­ule to see if there were any events at Rand­park this year. Some­times you feel very com­fort­able at a cer­tain course and I have de­vel­oped a spe­cial affin­ity with the club. My first ma­jor am­a­teur vic­tory came at Rand­park’s Bush­wil­low course in the 2015 North­ern Am­a­teur Stroke­play. In 2016 I lost in the first round of the match­play (Firethorn course) and then cad­died for good friend Gar­rick Higgo, who went on to win the fi­nal – so I gained in­valu­able knowl­edge of the lay­out ahead of Q School.

ON THE EMO­TIONAL ROLLER­COASTER OF Q SCHOOL

Play­ing golf for 9 out of 10 days is not hard, but when it’s for your fu­ture there is a feel­ing of in­tense pres­sure for all com­peti­tors.We had just one day off be­tween the first and fi­nal stage of Q School and, de­spite my good form, I found it quite drain­ing. But I knew what I was sign­ing up for. I be­lieve my game is ready for the pro ranks. (Loub­ser av­er­aged 68.78 for his nine rounds, with six of them in the 60s.)

HER­MAN LOUB­SER

AGE 18

BORN Pre­to­ria RE­SIDES Vil­liers­dorp, Western Cape

AT­TACH­MENT Thee­wa­ter­skloof GC

TURNED PRO 2017 CA­REER Turned pro­fes­sional af­ter win­ning the Sun­shine Tour Q School (20-un­der at Rand­park). Lived with his fam­ily for 14 years on the Isle of Man (UK), where he be­gan the game at seven, and won the U-12 and U-13 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship in the US Kids Se­ries. Re­turned to SA in 2014 and won the SA U-15 champs. At the age of 16 he claimed the 2015 North­ern Am­a­teur Stroke­play at Rand­park. Earned SA colours at the 2016 Africa Am­a­teur.

ON THE IM­POR­TANCE OF FIN­ISH­ING SCHOOL

My par­ents are both teach­ers at De Vil­liers Graaff High School in Vil­liers­dorp, so there’s no way I would have been al­lowed to stop my school­ing to play golf. Last year I played in far fewer am­a­teur tour­na­ments so I could con­cen­trate on my Ma­tric.

ON LEARN­ING TO PLAY IN THE WIND

I lived with my fam­ily in the UK for 14 years and learned to play on the Isle of Man at Mount Mur­ray GC, a chal­leng­ing lay­out ex­posed to heavy winds.When we re­turned to SA in 2014 my best re­sults were at the coast. I feel like I have an ad­van­tage over the field in windy con­di­tions, and am look­ing for­ward to the six con­sec­u­tive Sun­shine Tour events at the coast in Au­gust/Septem­ber at Ara­bella, Wild Coast, Zim­bali, Fish River, Hume­wood and St Fran­cis Links. ON SO­CIAL ME­DIA I see so­cial me­dia as a re­lease from real life and a cool way to keep in touch with friends while trav­el­ling, rather than a plat­form for self-pro­mo­tion or brag­ging. ON BE­ING BILIN­GUAL My Bri­tish ac­cent is less pro­nounced than it was two years ago, but I’m sure it’s weird for peo­ple to see my name on the TV screen but hear a pom­mie ac­cent (on the Sun­shine Tour Weekly show af­ter win­ning Q School). I ac­tu­ally speak more Afrikaans than I do English.

34 play­ers earned Sun­shine Tour cards at Q School.

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