JAYDEN IS A PROVEN WINNER
Benoni teenager wins SA Boys ‘double’ at Langebaan.
Jayden Schaper has carried a golf club in his hands for as long as he can remember and can already boast winning national titles in three different age groups.The 16-year-old Ebotse Links member had been SA U-13 champion in 2012, U-15 champion in 2015, before completing a rare double of strokeplay and matchplay crowns at the SA Boys Championships in April.And to do that he twice had to overcome a good friend, SA Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht (Pinnacle Point), firstly in a playoff for the strokeplay, and then 1up in the 36-final final of the matchplay.
Schaper began home schooling at the start of 2017 after leaving St Dunstan’s College in Benoni, but is very aware of the importance of education despite his growing golfing talent.“I attend a ‘home school’ on the Ebotse estate with 15 other learners across different grades, so we still get to interact with our peers and do not study in isolation,” he explains.“It’s been hugely beneficial for me as my golf results have shown. I also realise that if I want to go to college in America I need to do well at school.” Despite learning his golf in Gauteng, Schaper displayed outstanding skills in windy conditions on the West Coast.“I’m very comfortable playing in the wind.We have tournaments all around the country so you have to learn to play in all conditions,” said Schaper, a member of the GrantVeenstra Academy at Ebotse. In the matchplay, Schaper ousted Otto van Buynder, Franklin Manchest, Luca Filippi and Wilco Nienaber to reach the final against Lamprecht, who had become the youngest SA Amateur champion in windy conditions at Humewood in March. In the final Schaper birdied the final four holes of the morning round to lead by two holes, which he increased to three through 27 holes. Lamprecht birdied the 35th to reduce the lead to one, but both players birdied the par-5 18th for Schaper to prevail. He became only the sixth player to achieve the double at the SA Boys (below).
Next up on Schaper’s radar is the Junior World Cup in Japan from June 13-16 (with SA team-mates Lamprecht, Filippi and Garrick Higgo), followed by the SA U-17 champs at Rustenburg GC on July 11-13 where he will be trying for a unique ‘grand slam’ of junior national titles.