The sky is the limit for young De Klerk

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - MIKE DE BRUYN

JOSH DE KLERK, 16, who plays out of Clovelly Golf Club, is the most ex­it­ing tal­ent to come out of the Cape re­gion since his club­mate Matthew Kent, says WP Golf Union Di­rec­tor Eric Lef­son.

“You can never pre­dict the fu­ture of any gifted sports­man, but in Josh’s case here’s a boy whose game is five years ahead of his time. The young man has a ma­ture head on his shoul­ders and, if he puts in the hard work re­quired to achieve at the high­est level, I have ev­ery con­fi­dence we have a star in our ranks.”

De Klerk, like an­other Cape prodigy, Trevor Im­mel­man, be­gan his dream of be­com­ing the best golfer in the world aged five.

Im­mel­man is busy re­al­is­ing his af­ter he be­came only the sec­ond South African since Gary Player to don the green jacket when he won the US Mas­ters.

“It’s eas­ier said than done be­com­ing the best golfer,” said De Klerk. “I know it’s go­ing to take hard work, but I’m go­ing to do what­ever it takes to re­alise my dream. I love the game, I love to prac­tice and I want to push my­self to the lim­its ev­ery time I put a club in my hands.”

De Klerk is also a green jacket owner when, as a 14-year-old, he won the 2008 West­ern Prov­ince Ju­nior Mas­ters – also won four times by Im­mel­man.

The Wyn­berg Boys Grade 10 pupil un­der­lined his im­mense tal­ent when he be­came the youngest player to be se­lected to rep­re­sent the WP un­der-23 team aged 14, hav­ing first earned WP colours at 11.

De Klerk gained na­tional colours at un­der-16 level and rep­re­sented SA on a tour of Italy, where he show­cased his skills against the best am­a­teurs in the world.

The scratch golfer, who is a two-time club cham­pion, now gets a chance to im­press on his home course to­mor­row as he bids to win his first WP Se­nior Open ti­tle. He knows the course like the back of his back­swing and, if his put­ter blows hot, will go close.

Dis­tance off the tee on a rel­a­tively short, but tight course won’t be much of a prob­lem for him as he whacks it around 250 me­tres.

It was on this course where De Klerk, who holds the course record of 66, honed his in­fancy skills un­der the watch­ful eye of his men­tor Peter Jones.

He has since moved on to a new coach in Mervin Gal­lant, a for­mer Sun­shine Tour player and his game has taken on a new di­men­sion.

Now, af­ter years of groom­ing and tour na­ment play – against play­ers twice and three times his age, he em­barks on his first ten­ta­tive steps to­wards fame and for­tune.

Of his chances, De Klerk, who is ranked 10th on the West­ern Prov­ince Or­der of Merit said: “I think my chances are good be­cause I have an in­ti­mate knowl­edge of the newlook lay­out. It’s not a long course, but it is tight and the dif­fer­ent wind con­di­tions throw up dif­fer­ent chal­lenges. I feel I have a good chance…let’s see.”

YOUNG MAS­TER: Josh de Klerk won last year’s David Frost ju­nior in­vi­ta­tional. Here Frost hands over the tro­phy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.