Benoni teenager wins SA Boys ‘double’ at Lange­baan.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Amateur Scene -

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.

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