The sky is the limit for young De Klerk
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.