SON AND NIENABER ARE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Country Club Johannesburg’s Woo-Ju Son, at 16 one of the top female amateurs in South Africa, claimed another major title when she successfully defended the sixth Curro SA Junior International crown at Durbanville Golf Club.
Son (near right), who won the Jackie Mercer trophy as leading amateur at the SA Women’s Open, tied with 15-year-old Caitlyn Macnab (Serengeti) on oneover-par 217 in the 54-hole event, then won the playoff. Macnab had opened with a seven-birdie 68 to lead a tournament for the first time.
Wilco Nienaber (Bloemfontein, far right), 16, won the 54-hole boys title, also in a playoff over defending champion Garrick Higgo (De Zalze), and moved to No 5 in the national junior rankings.The two of them had 33 birdies and three eagles between them. In the playoff, long-hitting Nienaber drove just short of the green on the 368-metre uphill 18th at Durbanville, and twoputted for a birdie.
Nienaber was routinely hitting his tee shots 50 metres past Higgo, the No 1-ranked junior, in the final round.At a testing with Ping, his booming drives were second to American pro Bubba Watson in terms of distance. He had 16 birdies and two eagles in scores of 69-67-69 for an 11-under 205. Higgo (17 birdies and an eagle) closed with a 66 to tie. Six shots back, in third place, was Luca Filippi (Milnerton), ahead of Jayden Schaper (Ebotse) and Sam Simpson (Bellville) on 214.