Foursomes format practice pays off for WP golf juniors
BETTER pre-tournament preparation set up the Wester n Province junior golf team for a much-improved showing at the Nomads Under-18 Inter-Provincial tournament that was played at Bloemfontein recently.
Province, the 2001 and 2003 champions, finished runners-up to Central Gauteng in what was their best showing in recent times, having placed 10th in 2007 and third last year.
Province’s improved performance, especially in the foursomes format (alternate shots), where they have struggled to adapt in the past, has now been put to rest thanks to WP Golf Union initiating a number of new events featuring this (trying) format such as the WP Golf Foundation, WP and Clovelly foursomes, which enabled the management and team to try out/work on combinations whilst fostering teamwork.
It was a good week for WP No 2 Josh de Klerk, who was named most valuable player.
De Klerk, 16, is a winner of the WP junior masters and has represented the Under-16 national team for the past two years.
He also created a bit of history when he became the first player from WP to win a national Order of merit title. De Klerk outplayed the best young players in the land to scoop a win on the Eastern Province leg of the sixtournament strong schedule.
Province No 1 Jean-Paul Strydom, 18, is touted as a future star. Blessed with an all-round game, he shot a 10-under-par 36-hole total score with rounds of 66 and 68 on his home course Durbanville to win the regional leg of the Hayes Junior Classic.
The plus 1 handicapper has represented his club’s first team at Premier league level and has won numerous titles on the local junior circuit.
Best performance by a WP player at the IPTs came from Milnerton’s plus 1 handicapper Curtis Schacht who, playing at No 4, won eight and drew one of 12 singles matches.
Schacht was part of the Ernie Els Golf Foundation for three months before opting out for a return to Milnerton High School. His biggest strengths are his drive/iron play.
The combination of De Klerk and Ben Thorne (Mowbray) shone in the foursomes with seven wins and one draw.
De Klerk, Strydom and Christian Helmbold have also represented WP at Under-23 level. Good news is that four of this year’s team will be eligible for selection next year.
They are De Klerk, Thorne, Schacht and Helmbold.
It’s a rosy position for us to be in,” said WP’s president of junior golf Peter Little. “It was a vast improvement from the boys. We did our level best to send our players to as many inter-tournaments around the country and placed a big emphasis on improving our record in the foursomes format by including them in all our local events where the format was played.
“Next time round I’m hopeful that we will go all the way.”